Goodbye Alex Gordon the .300 hitter, it was nice knowing you.
Much virtual ink was spent last month discussing Gordon's new approach at the plate, how he was emphasizing contact more and making himself into a new hitter. On April 16th the old grand river Batting Average crested, sending Gordon to a .373/.403/.559.
Following an 0-4 last night against the Yankees, Gordon is now all the way down to a .300 average. His secondary skills are still decent, but the clock is ticking on Gordon being a plus batting average guy. He's not going to hit .360, he's not going to hit .340, he's not going to hit .320 and he's probably not going to hit .300. He's Alex Gordon.
And that's not necessarily a bad thing, although the Royals and Gordon himself will probably fight it. Gordon has been properly Seitzerized, which means that he's striking out less, but he's also walking less, mitigating any benefit. His LD rate, for whatever that's worth, is actually down.
We see this every year, when random fluctuation suddenly means a guy must be totally new. Just about every time, he's not new. Of course, the breakout stories never get retracted, the writer never offers a correction, there's never a return to the subject. Instead we all just bounce along like nothing ever happened.
The Royals should embrace Gordon as a prototypical 3B-styled hitter, in the mold of a Corey Koskie: average to bad BA, good walk numbers leading to a solid OBP, decent power. Although Gordon isn't actually a 3B anymore, it really doesn't matter. Those guys were useful members of a lineup. For a supposedly old school organization, they've entirely forgotten about this hitting profile. We all know how this will turn out.