The Kansas City Royals had the second pick of the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday and used it to select University of Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon. He was selected as the second-best non-pitching prospect by Baseball America, behind high schooler Justin Upton, who was taken first by the Devil Rays.
Gordon, who is a two-time All-American, is currently hitting, .382 with 18 homers and 23 stolen bases. Gordon and Nebraska will face Miami (Fla.) in the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend. He’s from Lincoln, Nebraska and said the Royals were his team as a kid.
“Growing up we didn’t have any teams around Nebraska, so me and my family would have to travel quite a ways to go watch a major league team and Kansas city was that team. So we kind of grew up with them,” Gordon said Tuesday.
Royals Senior Director of Scouting, Deric Ladnier, said if Gordon signs quickly, he could be in the big leagues as early as a year and a half from now. But how quickly Gordon moves up to the big leagues will also be tied to how quickly he signs a contract. Ladnier doesn’t have an exact timetable, but doesn’t expect the second pick in the draft to sign tomorrow.
“If history repeats itself, the negotiation process will take some time, which it tends to when you’re selecting that high in the draft,” said Ladnier.
This will certainly put pressure on Royals rookie third baseman, Mark Teahen, to perform. Ladnier said Gordon was too good to pass up on, even though they’re seemingly set on having Teahen to perform.
“We didn’t draft on need, we drafted on who we felt like was the best player,” Ladnier said.