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Alex Gordon: What Can We Expect In 2008

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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.

2005 2006 2007
Player HR SB RBI R AVG HR SB RBI R AVG HR SB RBI R AVG
Cameron Mike 12 13 39 47 0.273 22 25 83 88 0.268 21 18 78 88 0.242
Giles Brian 15 13 83 92 0.301 14 9 83 87 0.263 13 4 51 72 0.271
Holliday Matt 19 14 87 68 0.307 34 10 114 119 0.326 36 11 137 120 0.34
Jeter Derek 19 14 70 122 0.309 14 34 97 118 0.343 12 15 75 103 0.323
Crisp Coco 16 15 69 86 0.3 8 22 36 58 0.264 6 28 60 85 0.269
Iguchi Tadahito 15 15 71 74 0.278 18 11 67 97 0.281 9 14 43 67 0.267
Patterson Corey 13 15 34 47 0.215 16 45 53 75 0.276 8 37 45 66 0.269
Weeks Rickie 13 15 42 56 0.239 8 19 34 73 0.279 16 25 36 87 0.235
Giles Marcus 15 16 63 104 0.291 11 10 60 87 0.262 4 9 39 52 0.229
Rowand Aaron 13 16 69 77 0.27 12 10 47 59 0.262 27 6 90 105 0.31
Beltran Carlos 16 17 78 83 0.266 41 18 116 127 0.275 33 23 112 93 0.276
Hall Bill 17 18 62 69 0.291 35 8 85 101 0.27 14 4 63 59 0.254
Lawton Matt 13 18 53 67 0.254 0 0 1 5 0.259 0 0 0 0 0
Winn Randy 20 19 63 85 0.306 11 10 56 82 0.262 14 15 65 73 0.3
Guillen Carlos 5 2 23 48 0.32 19 20 85 100 0.32 21 13 102 86 0.296
Renteria Edgar 8 9 70 100 0.276 14 17 70 100 0.293 12 11 57 87 0.332
Rios Alex 10 14 59 71 0.262 17 15 82 68 0.302 24 17 85 114 0.297
Matthews Jr. Gary 17 9 55 72 0.255 19 10 79 102 0.313 18 18 72 79 0.252
Gordon Alex 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 14 60 60 0.247
Gomes Jonny 21 9 54 61 0.282 20 1 59 53 0.216 17 12 49 48 0.244