The Kansas City Royals’ All-World 3B prospect Alex Gordon will enter the 2007 season fifth in the batting order according to Royals manager Buddy Bell. So far this spring the rookie is hitting 378/.500/.622 in 37 at-bats. The opening day lineup will place Gordon between DH Mike Sweeney and 1B Ryan Shealy, which isn’t exactly an ideal situation, but opportunities for RBIs will be there and the kid will deal. He hasn’t had a Major League at-bat yet, but he led the Texas League in RBIs and home runs last season. Gordon finished the season with one of the few 20-20 seasons in all of the minor leagues and led Double-A ball with a 1.016 OPS.
“I just think he’s our best fifth hitter,” Bell said. “I really don’t think it’s going to affect him where he hits. He could hit fourth. The more I’m around him, the more I like him.
“He’s just a tough kid. Early on, I thought we might want to protect him a little more. Not now.”
People in my fantasy leagues probably know just how excited I am about this guy. He’ll be a fantasy starter in 12-team mixed leagues by the end of the year, mark it down. It’s no exaggeration to say that he could contend for an AL MVP or two (Jeff Passan recently named him as his leading AL MVP-in-waiting) at some point in his career. That means for people in deep keeper leagues, it’s not too early to consider him for future seasons. If everything goes according to plan, which is rarely the case, Gordon should be in a heated battle for AL Rookie of the Year with Daisuke Matsuzaka and uber-prospect Delmon Young (I give the nod to Young at this point).