What is Kansas City Royals 3B Alex Gordon worth in 2008? His performance last season did not come close to matching the pre-season speculation of how great he would be. No one expected a .247 AVG paired with a mere 60 RBIs and just 15 HRs.
Overlooked though are the 14 bases he stole while qualifying at 1B and 3B for the 2008 fantasy baseball season. For those who focus a scarce stats at positions like 1B and C, those 14 SBs ranked first last season ahead of Carlos Guillen's 13 and Miguel Cairo's 10. No other 1B-eligible player stole double-digit bases.
In 2006, Nick Johnson led all 2007 1B-eligibles with 10. One must go back to the 2005 season to find 1B-eligible players who stole more bases than Alex Gordon. Albert Pujols swiped 16 to lead the Cardinals that season. Derrek Lee swiped 15 and Darin Erstad had 10. Those double-digit SB totals help make Pujols and Lee top draftees in 2006 fantasy baseball drafts.
The question is there any reason to believe
1. Gordon will not steal double-digits again
2. His HRs increase to a level that he becomes a true dual threat.
A look back at players who totaled between 12-20 HRs and SBs in the 2005-2007 seasons offers an eclectic collection. There were 14 players who had that statistical match in 2005. 10 of those had double-digit totals in 2006, and five of those 10 did it again in 2007. Ex-Matt Lawton, every one of the 14 from 2005 had at least 8 HRs and 8 SBs in 2006, and, in 2007, 9 of them stole at least 10 bases, and 9 hit 10+ HRs. These skills apear to be dependable.
With just three matches in 2006 (12-20 HRs & SB), there is not quite the strength-in-number argument. However, all three did achieve double digit totals in HRs and SB in 2007. Two of them, Carlos Guillen and Alex Rios, went over the 20 HR mark.
This leads me to conclude Alex Gordon is likely to meet the SB expectation of 10+ SBs. What I'd like to conclude is his growth in power will rival those leaps made by Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Bill Hall, but I'd happily settle for the ones made by Guillen and Rios. If he can, at a minimum, increase his HR totals to 20+, then the ADP of 143 he currently has represents a value opportunity.
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