The moment of truth...
Today is the day. Yesterday was the 61st anniversary of the Normandy landing, but for the Royals, today is D-Day.
Draft Day. Around 1 pm EST, or shortly thereafter, we should know a lot more about the future of the Royals organization. Have the Royals truly devoted their resources to acquire the best player possible, or will the Royals again go with a signability pick?
We'll have our answer in a matter of hours, and the repercussions of that answer will affect the direction of this club for years. Yes, every draft is important, but today the Royals have the second overall pick, their highest draft pick ever, and it comes in the midst of the worst season in club history. To put it frankly, today is one of the most important days in the history of the franchise.
With that in mind, Royals Corner is prepared to endorse a candidate. After following his progress for the past year, reading dozens of scouting reports, and watching him on ESPN and his MLB Scouting Bureau video, RC has decided the Royals should select Alex Gordon, 3B - University of Nebraska, with the second overall pick. Gordon possesses not only the physical attributes to make him a perennial All Star, but he also has a record of superior performance, plate discipline, and power against the highest level of amateur competition. Additionally, Gordon has steadily improved each year of his collegiate career, which bodes well for his ability to do the same as a professional. Here's are his collegiate stats:
Year AB HR AVG OBP SLG BB K SB/ATT
2003 216 7 .319 .426 .495 29 34 8/17
2004 211 18 .365 .493 .754 47 34 12/14
2005 238 18 .382 .526 .735 58 34 23/26
If you've never seen Gordon hit, then you've missed out. He hits from somewhat of a crouch, his entire body quiet with the exception of a slight wiggle in his hands, before exploding on the ball. His hands are incredibly quick, and they take his bat straight to the ball in a nearly strideless, effortless swing. His power comes from his strong torso and legs, and he has the ability to drive the ball to all fields with power. Defensively, he is a good 3B with soft hands, a strong arm, and adequate range, and he is athletic enough to handle a change of position if necessary, whether it be to a corner outfield spot or first base.
Simply put, Alex Gordon is the man. Pre-draft indicators all point in the direction of the Royals selecting Gordon. On a visit to Lincoln last week, Royals GM Allard Baird was even quoted by the Omaha World-Herald as saying "Just the fact that we're here, I think it says all you need to know." Following his game, Gordon was scheduled to meet with Baird and Royals President Dan Glass.
Of course, there are any number of things that could happen today that result in the Royals not drafting RC's first choice. If that happens, we encourage our fellow Royals fans not to panic, for there will quite likely be a good reason. Any pick will have to be analyzed before rushing to judgement, and you can count on the Royals Corner to try to make sense of any move. Stay tuned. Two other quick notes:
5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
It will be interesting to see if this throws a monkey wrench into the Royals' potential plan of promoting him for the start on Saturday vs. Arizona.