Alex Gordon was a former lottery pick for the Kansas City Royals and has high expectations put on him. He was rushed to the major league because of his huge success in college and in the minor leagues. The Royals skipped a lot of steps when bringing him to the majors because he looked so good they wanted him in front of the fans right away. Then the pressure got to Gordon, once he made it to the majors his hot streak ended. He was not ready for the big leagues like scouts had thought. His power that he showed disappeared and his hitting just went down all around. He struck out more than most people and his batting average was below pair for the major leagues. He did not look like a #1 draft pick and the Kansas City fans were let down yet again.
After a couple years of going back and forth between the minor league and majors, Alex and the coach’s decided that a change needed to be made. After the 2010 season was over a major project of creating a new swing for Gordon was underway. The main goal was to shorten his swing to make him a better contact hitter and then hopefully the power would come as his average grew. Well it was a slow process in spring training but the closer we got to Opening Day, the better Gordon looked. By the end of spring training Gordon was the hottest hitter for the Royals.
Then Ned Yost put all the pressure back on Gordon. Gordon was dominating in spring training (given it was against minor league pitchers sometimes and the climate was ideal for hitters) in the middle to lower portion of the lineup. Then the Royals had the great idea of putting Gordon in the #3 hole in the lineup. Putting him on a pedestal, telling all the teams they play that Gordon is our guy and you should give him your best pitches every time. Now why would the Royals do that when he was so successful in a roll playing position rather than the star spot? Well for one, he was a #1 pick and that’s what he was picked to do. But he has shown signs of being fragile and doesn’t succeed in star roles so the better move would have been to keep him hidden in the lineup.
This is Gordon’s make it or break it year. The Royals’ have the next wave of young talent ready to come up and if Gordon doesn’t show he has that star talent in the majors, then the Royals will have to let him go. He didn’t have the start to the season that everyone had hoped, going 0-5 with three strikeouts. But it was only the first game and he will have plenty of time to prove himself. Time will tell if his new swing will make it in the majors, or if the pressure of the big leagues is just to much for him.
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