Royals' left-fielder Alex Gordon has had a breakout season in 2011.
When the Royals drafted Alex Jonathan Gordon in the first round of the 2005 MLB Draft, much was expected out of the former University of Nebraska star.
While at Nebraska, Gordon was a two-time first-team All-American, and also won the Baseball America National Player of the Year award during his senior season for his excellence on the diamond.
Unfortunately for Gordon and the Royals, he wasn't able to translate this talent into success during his first four seasons in the big leagues.
After an impressive stint in the KC farm system, Gordon made his major league debut against then-veteran Curt Schilling on opening day 2007.
Gordon ended up striking out with the bases loaded, as this was just the beginning of his four-year hitting drought in Kansas City.
From 2007 to '10, Gordon only hit above .250 once, with his best season coming in '08, when he hit .260 with 16 homers and 59 RBI.
Then, the 2011 season came.
This year, Gordon has taken off, aided by a great start to the campaign for the first time in his young career.
In 137 games, he is hitting .303 with a team-leading 20 homers and 76 RBI for the last-place Royals.
He's also been a menace on the basepaths and in the field as well, swiping 16 stolen bases and racking up a league-leading 20 assists on the campaign.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article about how I thought that the real Alex Gordon had finally showed up in the majors.
While many didn't buy into it at the time, I think it's safe to say that he has come full circle as a big league player to this point in time.
Now, the Royals just have to hope that he can keep it up in 2012.