The Twins selected Nick Gordon fifth overall in the 2014 MLB Draft and although it took some time, he has finally become an impact player at the Major League level.
Gordon, who was brought up as a middle infielder, was thrown into the fire during his rookie season in 2021 after the Twins squad was decimated with injuries earlier in the year. He was forced to spend a lot of his time in the outfield, particularly in center, while sporting a .240 average with 10 stolen bases in over 200 plate appearances.
This year he made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career and again his role with the team changed just a few games into the season when his fellow MLBbro teammate Byron Buxton suffered a leg injury that kept him out for about a week.
Last Thursday Gordon made a perfect throw on a fly ball to center field to gun a runner out at home to keep his teams shutout going. He has natural talent and all you have to look at is the ease he used when making that throw.
Gordon is a second-generation Big Leaguer as his father Tom “Flash” Gordon pitched 21 seasons with eight different teams. In 1998-1999 he set what was then a record with 54 converted saves in a row.
His half-brother Dee-Strange Gordon is a two-time All-Star and won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards for the Miami Marlins back in 2015 after being a part of a few fun Dodger teams led by Matt Kemp.
Expectations for Gordon were high even before he was drafted. He was named the 2013 Gatorade National Player of the year as a junior in high school where he saw success as a two-way player.
This season people hope those abilities show at the game’s highest level, not only on the defensive side but in the batter’s box as well.
Gordon got off to a slow start, but over his last seven games has a .267 average with a .400 slugging percentage and a triple, one more than he had all of 2021.
With Byron Buxton returning from injury this weekend and already being back in prime form (judging from his 4-4 day at the plate Saturday including two home runs and a double and then his game-winning three-run blast on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox) Gordon may see a little less time in center. But with the versatility Gordon brings on the defensive side, he will be able to give Buxton a few rest days here and there, in order to stay healthy for this marathon of the season.
While his father was in attendance, all Nick could focus on was the game.
“I actually didn’t see him,” he told MLB.com. “I didn’t see him the entire game. I’m not really sure where he was sitting at. That’s usually not too hard to find. I usually find him. But I was kind of focused today. Kind of got on the field and really didn’t look up too much.”
Tom Gordon was excited to have the opportunity to watch his son play in an MLB game and it certainly won’t be the last time he attends a game.
“I want every ball he hits out of the park,” Tom Gordon said. “I want every ball to be hit hard. He sure better not make an error, because then I’m fussing about that. I think that comes with it. As much as I love it, I appreciate it.
“At the same time, I appreciate how much his teammates and friends and family, everybody that’s here, love him.”
When Nick hit his first home run, he didn’t know if it was going to go out or not. One thing he did know was that he got a good swing on the ball.
Hitting your first major league home run is a tremendous accomplishment, and it only took Gordon five games to hit his first.
“I wasn’t expecting to hit a homer,” he said. “I definitely didn’t off the bat think it was going to go that far. I just thought I got it pretty good and I looked up and it was gone. It felt pretty good.”
The 25-year-old has definitely given the Twins’ coaching staff multiple reasons to keep him in the lineup.
Speed kills, and for Nick, it works to his advantage. On the base path, he’s definitely a threat and can cause problems for defenses. He has five stolen bases on the season and that number will continue to increase as the season progresses.
The Twins can utilize him in the infield and outfield, and with his legs, he can track balls down in the outfield and take away hits.
If he keeps playing the way he has been playing this month, he will continue to see the field and have opportunities to become a player the Twins can use on a consistent basis.
The veteran infielder will add to the Cubs’ depth chart following infielder Nico Hoerner’s left hamstring strain during Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team announced they were placing Hoerner on the 10-day injured list and picking up outfielder Rafael Ortega from their AA affiliate.
Strange-Gordon appeared in 33 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2020 and batted career lows of .200/.268/.213.
In February, the 33-year-old briefly signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds but wasn’t able to land an Opening Day roster spot. He will provide both speed and versatility to the Cubs, having played second base, shortstop, and center field in past seasons.
Over his 10-year career in the majors, Strange-Gordon certainly left his mark. Perhaps his most impressive run was from 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers through 2015 with the Miami Marlins, where he earned two All-Star appearances, a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger Award while leading the league in steals both years (64 and 58, respectively), in triples (12) in 2014, and in batting average (.333), hits (205), and steals caught (20) in 2015.
He also had a strong showing in 2017 with the Marlins, leading the league once again in steals (60) and steals caught (16).
With this signing, the Cubs are not only adding a veteran on-field contributor but a proven leader off the field as well.
He is a four-time nominee of the Roberto Clemente Award, the honor bestowed upon the player who best represents the game through their exceptional character, philanthropy, and community involvement.
He is also on the advisory board of The Players Alliance, a group of over 100 current and former Black baseball players whose mission, in their words, is “building equitable systems in order to change the trajectory of diversity throughout baseball.”
As with any minor league deal, Strange-Gordon will have to earn his opportunity with the big league club, but the Cubs may have just gotten themselves a steal.
Every player’s path to the MLB is different and that feeling when you finally make it is one that is indescribable for some.
One of our MLBbros made his MLB debut this season and had a game to remember. Nick Gordon played his first game for the Minnesota Twins on May 6th against the Texas Rangers.
Gordon put together an impressive performance in his debut. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and had two stolen bases. This brother wanted to make sure that Twins fans and MLB fans would know who he is.
Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli was pleased with Gordon’s performance.
“He seemed to be playing pretty confidently from the start,” Baldelli told the StarTribune. “He was not hesitant. He went out there and made some things happen for us. He played a great game.”
Gordon, just 25, talked about that feeling of finally making it and being on that big stage.
“But to feel it all for yourself, it’s definitely a different feeling,” he said. “It’s a kid in a candy store. It’s definitely something I can’t really explain it. I wish everyone had this feeling. It’s definitely a great feeling, it’s great to be here and be a part of the team and everything.”
Now that last name may sound familiar to some. Gordon is the half-brother of Dee-Strange Gordon, who recently signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and has spent 10 seasons in the league.
Gordon’s father is former MLB All-Star and World Series champion, Tom “Flash” Gordon. He had a successful pitching career from 1988 to 2009.
So you see baseball is the sport that the Gordon’s fell in love with and have had a lot of success playing.
For Nick Gordon, he’s trying to follow in his father and brother’s footsteps and play in the league for numerous seasons.
So far he’s only appeared in two games during the 2021 season, going 0-for-2 in his recent game on May 24th.
The Twins have given Nick Gordon the runaround this season as he’s gone back and forth from the minors to the big leagues on multiple occasions.
What the Twins need to do is give him a chance and see how he performs in multiple series. Have him play each game of a series and not just one game. And they have no business sending him back to the minors because he’s already proven himself playing there.
Nick has only had one season in the minors where he batted below .250.
He’s been consistent throughout his minor-league career, posting a .277 batting average and a .331 on-base percentage.
Nick Gordon was the fifth overall pick by the Twins in the 2014 MLB draft. He was one of the top prospects coming into the draft and he put the work in throughout his minor-league career.
It’s a grind making it to the big leagues and not everyone gets that opportunity. Now that Nick Gordon has that first game under his belt, he has a feel of what the game is like at that top level.
And with his talent and skill set, he’ll have no problem adjusting. All the Twins need to do is give our MLB bro a chance to establish himself and show the league why the Gordon Family has had success in pro baseball.
Dee Strange-Gordon, the man known as “Lightning,” is ready to strike.
The speedy 33-year old could be an important veteran addition both on the field and the clubhouse for a team looking to make a run to the postseason.
It wasn’t that long ago when Strange-Gordon was terrorizing the basepaths as a second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins.
From 2014-17 he stole 212 bases and scored 341 runs in 530 games. He was a two-time All-Star, batting .304 and leading Major League Baseball in steals in three out of four seasons. Twice he produced more than 200 hits in a season and he took the National League batting crown in 2015.
Further demonstrating his well-rounded skill set, Strange-Gordon won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award as well.
His .309 average with the Marlins remains the second-highest in franchise history.
1. Miguel Cabrera.313 2. Dee Gordon .309 3. Hanley Ramirez.300 4. Kevin Millar.296 5. Juan Pierre.295 6. Cliff Floyd.294 7. Luis Castillo .293 8. Jeff Conine/Christian Yelich .290 10. Edgar Renteria/Gary Sheffield.288 pic.twitter.com/V6QTo1QbBg
But after moving from the NL to join the Seattle Mariners, Strange-Gordon was unable to match his peak production.
In three seasons in the Pacific Northwest, he had fewer stolen bases (55) combined than he had in his final season with the Marlins (60). In 2020 he posted career-lows in every major batting category, and after being released following the season, it looked like Strange-Gordon didn’t have a path back to the bigs.
Strange-Gordon was undeterred. He signed on with the Cincinnati Reds during Spring Training as a low-risk veteran option to compete at shortstop.
Even after a solid spring where he batted .281 with a .361 OBP and four swipes, he was passed over for a spot on the opening day roster for younger options.
When the Milwaukee Brewers came calling with a minor league deal a month ago, he didn’t hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity.
Assigned to the Brewers’ Triple-A Nashville Sounds, Strange-Gordon worked out at second base, shortstop and in the outfield. With injuries mounting across the big leagues, that versatility makes him an attractive option.
The Dee Strange-Gordon of old began to re-emerge in the Music City. He slashed .333/.378/.500 with a .878 OPS in 45 plate appearances.
His speed hasn’t gone anywhere either. Even after that difficult 2020 season, he ranked in the 85th percentile in speed last season.
Unfortunately, the numbers game didn’t work in his favor. The Brewers added infielder Willy Adames from Tampa Bay and his glove, though his bat has been pretty quiet this year.
What are the options available to Dee Strange-Gordon at this point?
The New York Mets have been mentioned as a possible destination. As their injured list gets longer and longer, having someone who can fill in holes like a can of Flex Seal.
New York could use an influx of energy for their stagnant offense, with J.D. Davis, Pete Alonso, Kevin Pillar, and others expected to be out for a while.
Another possible spot could be in Oakland with the A’s. Though the A’s still sit 1.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros, they haven’t gotten much production at shortstop. Perhaps Strange-Gordon could hold it down if Elvis Andrus continues to struggle.
Expanding the radius to the rest of the bigs, there are 10 second baseman with at least 120 at bats batting under .250.
At the very least, Strange-Gordon can help manufacture runs either as a runner or at the plate, and provide range in the field.
His resume and his skill set should get him a landing spot soon enough. When he finds that place, expect Dee Strange-Gordon to hit the ground running.