By now we all know the story, Alex Gordon was hitting .233 and was asked what he expected to do in 2011. His reply was short. His reply was simple. His reply was bold. "I'm going to dominate." Just over a year later we can look back and smile. He was right.
Last night Alex Gordon won the Gold Glove. It was the first time a Royal had won the award since Mark Grudzielanek won it in 2006. If you have ever conversed with me about the award you know, that I find it to be one of the most ridiculous in all of sports. Even with Alex Gordon winning it this season, I can't help but think that he wasn't necessarily the most deserving. (I'm referring to my long time man crush Brett Gardner.)
Nonetheless I couldn't be happier that a Royal will be receiving the award on Opening Day 2012. I do believe that Alex Gordon is deserving, and as is the case in professional sports arguments can be made for both sides. It isn't like the award went to some future Hall of Fame shortstop that was barely passable... that wears pinstripes... that also wears number 2... fine. It isn't like a guy like Derek Jeter won the award.
Gordon winning a gold glove in left field was awesome. For the entire season he displayed a strong, deadly accurate arm, and wowed us with diving catches. I expect that as he continues to progress defensively many of his diving catches will disappear and instead we will see him glide through balls.
Just one day after winning the Gold Glove, Alex won another award: Royals Player of the Year. I am just thankful they got this one right. For the season Alex hit .303/.376/.502. He had 23 home runs, 87 Rbis, and 17 steals all while playing Gold Glove caliber defense!
I admit that I was semi-nervous that the award would go to Jeff Francouer or Melky Cabrera. Don't get me wrong both had fantastic seasons, and both were great offseason pickups. But for those of us that watched Alex play all season long it is now clear that this guy, is going to be what we all were hoping for.
For a long time I was an Alex Gordon apologist. Not because I thought he was going to be a superstar despite hitting .215, but because I just thought he was having incredibly bad luck as a baseball player. Injuries and a poor batting average on balls in play had plagued his career.
Gordon is now entering his prime seasons, he has finally shown his true colors at the Major League level, and I think that most Royals fans are quietly expecting him to garner some MVP votes in the near future. I admit that I am one of those. If the Royals are going to contend in 2012 or 2013 a huge part of the reason why will likely be Alex Gordon.
For each of the following two seasons Alex Gordon will remain under team control. If acquiring pitching is top goal this offseason then locking up Alex Gordon should be goal 1b. I would love a four year deal with a team option for year five. Gordon hasn't been shy about his love for Kansas City and this part of the country. Lock him up Dayton and even more Royals fans will truly accept the old Royal way may be coming to an end.