Minnesota Twins Player Watch: Nick Gordon
The Minnesota Twins have used some high draft picks on shortstops in recent seasons. The number five overall pick of the 2014 MLB draft looks ready to take the next step during the 2018 season.
Nick Gordon is ranked fourth overall in the Minnesota Twins Minor League system and this will be a big year for him. Jorge Polanco will miss almost half of the season due to suspension, opening the door for Gordon to earn his first call-up. However, he has yet to play above the Double-A level so he still has more to prove.
Gordon is a highly touted infield prospect who looks to have a bright future in Major League Baseball. He grades out at 55 overall according to MLBPipelines, with only one of his tools (power) rated lower than 50. However, the question remains, where will he slot in defensively?
Without question, Gordon has the range and the arm strength to handle shortstop at the MLB level. Minnesota has top prospect Royce Lewis, another highly touted shortstop prospect, so his future may be at the keystone. When you consider the upcoming decisions this team faces, this is a good problem to have for the Twins.
What does the future hold for Gordon?
The future is bright for Gordon and there’s little doubt that he’ll have a good Major League career. He has a career .281 batting average during his Minor League career and shows good extra-base power. Gordon will never be a big home run hitter. However, with his speed, all he needs to do is get on base to impact a game.
The real issue for Gordon to this point has been his shaky defense at short. He has 69 errors in 369 games played at shortstop, giving him a ghastly .960 fielding percentage. Brian Dozier will be testing free agency after the ’18 season and if the Twins don’t bring him back Gordon has a good chance to fill the void at second base.
Gordon has a real chance to see big league action during this season with Polanco’s suspension. However, Eduardo Escobar has been filling in nicely to this point in the season and Gordon will need him to falter before getting his opportunity. The Minnesota Twins also have defensive specialist Ehire Adrianza so there is no need to rush Gordon along too quickly.
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Barring injury, the 2019 season is most likely when Gordon will have an impact with Minnesota. He needs to get some at-bats in Triple-A before he can reach the Majors. There’s always the possibility Gordon could be involved in a mid-season trade as well. Either way, he has the potential to be a game changer for the Twins in the near future.