Alex Gordon is as close to a five-tool talent as the Kansas City Royals have seen in years. As well as providing consistently solid offensive production, Gordon has proven time and time again that he is among the best defensive outfielders in MLB.
Some fans around the league, especially Cleveland Indians fans, may disagree with Gordon claiming his third-straight Gold Glove award, but there just isn’t a good enough reason not to give it to him. Gordon recorded 17 outfield assists in 2013, tying him with Gerardo Parra for the most league-wide among all outfielders. The quickness and accuracy with which he gets the ball back to the infield is ridiculous.
Most would assume Gordon’s cannon-like arm in left comes from his baseball upbringing as a third baseman before Kansas City sent him to the minors to become an outfielder. After consecutive Gold Glove awards in 2011 and 2012, that decision seems like a wise one indeed. It will be interesting to see if other teams attempt to convert struggling third basemen into outfielders in an effort to create their own defensive super-freaks.
His .997 fielding percentage (just one error all year) is second in MLB, with only Cleveland’s Michael Brantley ranking higher with an error-less season. Although Brantley’s mistake-free year is certainly impressive, he recorded six fewer outfield assists and 66 less putouts than Gordon this season.
Gordon’s business in the outfield cannot be overlooked. For whatever reason, Royals’ opposition hit an unusual amount of balls to left field this year, and Gordon constantly recorded outs, whether with easy fly ball catches or outstanding, highlight reel-worthy plays. Gordon’s single error came in a season in which he started 155 games and recorded 323 putouts in left field.
So, in summation, he’s the guy who recorded the most outfield assists in the league, the most outs by a wide margin and only a single error. Who else could possibly deserve it more?