Nick Gordon: Prospect Profile for Minnesota Twins' 1st-Round Pick

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Nick Gordon: Prospect Profile for Minnesota Twins' 1st-Round Pick
Courtesy of Tim Holle

Player: Nick Gordon

Drafted by: Minnesota Twins

Position: SS

DOB: 10/24/1995 (Age: 18)

Height/Weight: 6’2”, 170 pounds

Bats/Throws: L/R

School: Olympia (Fla.) High School

College Commitment: Florida State

 

Background

The son of former major leaguer Tom “Flash” Gordon and brother to Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Nick is widely considered the best shortstop in this year’s class after blossoming on the summer showcase circuit over the last two years.

Gordon projects to have five at-least-average tools at maturity, though, he’ll always stand out for his defensive prowess and rocket arm across the infield. His bat is understandably less developed, but the left-handed hitter should develop average-or-better hit and power tools.

Gordon’s outstanding arm strength at shortstop also makes him a dual threat on the mound, where the right-hander boasts a low-90s fastball and nasty curveball (sound familiar?). However, with the dearth of up-the-middle prospects in this year’s class, Gordon’s days on the mound will be over upon signing with a major league club.

Beyond his tools and overall baseball aptitude, Gordon has drawn rave reviews from coaches, teammates and evaluators for his tremendous makeup. He received the Jackie Robinson Award last summer as part of the Perfect Game All-American Classic, which recognized his success on the field and, more importantly, his character.

This spring, Gordon batted .494/.576/.843 with 41 hits, 28 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 27 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 27 games for Olympia.

 

Full Scouting Report 

Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.

Hit: 35/50

The left-handed hitter sets up slightly open with hands close to his body; employs a decently sized leg kick that has worked better for him this season after adding strength; generates above-average bat speed with strong, loose wrists; possesses advanced bat-to-ball skills.

He keeps hands inside the ball, with the barrel staying in the hitting zone for an extended period of time; natural line-drive approach from left-center back up the middle; he’ll land hard on his front side at times, causing his hands to drag behind the ball; ability to turn on inner-half velocity should improve as he continues to add strength.

Courtesy of Max Preps

 

Power: 40/50

Gordon has good strength to his 6’2”, 170-pound frame; power has started to emerge over the last year as he’s grown into his body and added muscle; ball jumps off his bat; most of his present power is to the left-center field gap; still learning to turn on the ball; power should be at least average at maturity, with the potential for roughly 15 home runs in a given season.

 

Run: 60/60

Gordon is an outstanding athlete with plus speed who plays on both sides of the ball; he’s not nearly as fast as brother Dee, but he possesses the wheels to be a base-stealing threat hitting at the top (or bottom) of a major league lineup.

Courtesy of Baseball America

 

Arm: 70/70

Plus-plus arm strength is the best among middle-of-the-diamond players in this year’s class; ideal for the position thanks to quick arm stroke and release; has received draft consideration as a right-handed pitcher (like his father), where he sits in the low 90s and complements it with a plus breaking ball.

 

Field: 50/60

True shortstop capable of spending his entire career at the position; plus athlete with quick but smooth actions; features present plus range and could gain a full grade by his prime; will struggle with controlling his body at times, which is very common in all young shortstops; relies on arm strength too much at times, waiting back on balls rather than attacking them; sure-handed defender who stands out for his instincts and creativity at the position.

 

MLB Player Comparison: Alexei Ramirez

Nick Gordon can be compared to Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, as both players are true shortstops with strong defensive chops and at least average hit/power tools.

 

Projection: First-division shortstop

 

Major Leagues ETA: 2017

 

Chances of Signing: 95 percent

As the top shortstop prospect in this year’s draft class, and coming from a family of former and current big leaguers, Gordon is nearly guaranteed to sign when he comes off the board (very) early in the first round.

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