Friday, September 18, 2015

Gordon Getting It Done For Kernels

After stumbling to a 90 loss season in 2013, the Minnesota Twins found themselves awarded the 5th overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. With a couple of different options at their disposal, Terry Ryan and company went with high school shortstop Nick Gordon. With a lineage of great baseball surrounding him, and big league defensive skills showing already, Gordon was going to be a worthwhile project. In 2015 though, he's been the catalyst for what could be a Championship winning Cedar Rapids Kernels team.

Gordon spent his first professional season in the Appalachian Rookie League with the Elizabethton Twins. Despite a bat that would need time, he slashed .294/.333/.366 with 11 extra base hits in 57 games. The test though would come in his first full season of pro ball at the Low-A level. Sent to Cedar Rapids to begin 2015 at age 19, Gordon would be pushed early.

Through May 31, or the first 45 games of the season, the brother of Miami Marlins Dee Gordon found himself slashing just .230/.305/.281. With a brother pacing the NL in average, the other Gordon was doing anything but. Just five doubles and two triples under his belt, Gordon's speed was kept in check on the bases as well. Then, as spring turned to summer in Iowa, Gordon got going.

From June 1 until the end of the Cedar Rapids season, a period of 75 games, Nick Gordon paced the lineup with a .304/.355/.406 slash line. He roped 18 doubles, legged out five triples, and clubbed his first home run of the year. Gordon also scored 48 runs, drove in another 35, and stole 13 bases. The shortstop had now embarked into "offensive threat" territory.

Helping to push the Kernels to a 77-63 record on the season, Gordon fueled a playoff destined offense. With Cedar Rapids looking to grab a Midwest League title, it's been Gordon once again in the middle of it all. Prior to a 4-1 loss on Thursday to the West Michigan Whitecaps, Cedar Rapids was a perfect 5-0 in the playoffs. For Gordon, he's slashed .400/.407/.480 with two doubles and three runs across six games.

Now just two games away from lifting the end of the season hardware, it will likely be Gordon again that helps to push the Kernels to the finish line. Turning five double plays and making just one error in 55.0 innings, Gordon continues to get it done on both sides of the field. Still just 19, but eyeing the next level, it's season's like 2015 that the Twins envisioned out of Gordon when they took him.

For the immediate future, shortstop will be manned by Eduardo Escobar or whatever free agent the Twins choose to bring in over the offseason. Down the line though, Nick Gordon continues to trend in the right direction, and 2015 has been a nice launching pad for the Kernels star.

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