In the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, the Minnesota Twins found themselves rounding out the top 5. Although picking that high is an obvious reflection of a rough season in 2013, the 5th pick lends the Twins the opportunity to grab premier talent. With the 5th overall pick, that is exactly what the Twins were able to select.
Not to be known as the son of Tom Gordon, or the brother of Dee Gordon, Nick Gordon, the 6’2,” 170lb high school shortstop out of Olympia high school in Florida, is ready to make his own name known as the newest Minnesota Twins draftee. Gordon does it all, has outstanding defensive ability, with a strong bat and handle of the strike zone.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Nick and get to know him a little bit. A down to earth kid, Twins Territory, meet Nick Gordon.
Puckett’s Pond: Being that it was pretty widely reported you would be drafted early in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, what was your draft day experience like?
Nick Gordon: It was cool being there with my parents. We enjoyed our time there with the other kids, and all the people who were there from MLB. We got to watch draft night, got a little nervous, but it was all a blessing. It was fun for me and my family to be there and enjoy the experience.
PP: It was probably nice to not have to wait too long to hear your name called as well…
NG: Oh yeah, definitely. I saw my mom looking back because she was getting nervous. When they finally called my name, it was a big relief for her.
PP: As a high schooler, what do you see as the biggest hurdle at the next level?
NG: Just playing every single day. In high school, we didn’t play every single day, we played every other day. I don’t think it will be too big of an adjustment for me though because I’m used to playing a lot of baseball. I know how to keep myself healthy and do the things I need to do to get through a season.
PP: Having both an All Star father, and rising star in your brother, what advice have they given you throughout the process?
NG: Really, just to stay who I am and stay on an even keel. Never take anything for granted, not one day, not one pitch. Even through the draft process, both my dad and my brother told me to take it all in; you only get this opportunity once. Be calm, be myself, and never change who I am.
PP: While Dee has been in the National League his whole career, your dad pitched a long time in the AL Central. What did you know about the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota as a whole, before getting drafted?
NG: Well, I knew that it was very, very cold! I heard it gets very cold in the winter. That’s something I’ll adjust to though. I knew they (Minnesota Twins) had great players there, Joe Mauer among other guys. I’m just ready to get my opportunity with this organization and to play for them.
PP: Was this week the first time that you’ve been to Target Field?
NG: No, I was up there for Perfect Game Nationals last year.
PP: As a guy with a lot of speed, what is your approach at the plate like?
NG: You know, just to take what the pitcher gives me. My strengths are up the middle and away. I’m not too much of a power guy, but I can hit home runs when I need to, or when the team needs it. I try to just stay within myself, not get to big, and look back up the middle; try to take the pitcher off the mound.
PP: Finally, past or present, who is your favorite major league player and why? I promise not to tell if you don’t say either of your family members!
NG: Well…besides my family, I have to go with Derek Jeter. He’s a leader, great athlete and college player. He’s a professional on and off the field, just dedicated; he’s my idol. He’s always in the right position at the right time. The way he plays the game professionally, it’s great, it’s amazing, and I’ve learned so much from him.
PP: One last one here before I let you go, have you and your brother raced lately? Can you beat him (Dee) in a race?
NG: No, I think he’s got the edge on me on that. We haven’t raced lately, but I don’t think I’d lineup with him because that would just give him something to talk about.
Nick signed earlier this week with the Minnesota Twins and made his Target Field introduction as a member of the Twins. He will be headed out shortly to start his climb through Minnesota’s farm system to eventually take over the reigns as the Twins shortstop of the future.
A guy that profiles very well on both offense and defense, with the ability to continue to develop, should be looking at a storied career in a Minnesota Twins uniform. Nick Gordon will be hearing his name announced throughout Target Field in the coming years.