No. 4: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielderAlex Gordon
scores a run against the San Francisco Giants in the second inning during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Gordon comes in at No. 4 among AL Central left fielders not because of a lack of production, but because of the overwhelming talent that resides at the position in the division.
A two-time All-Star, Gordon has quietly become one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. He is a four-time Gold Glove Award winner (2011-14), a three-time Fielding Bible Award winner (2012-14) and a one-time Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award winner (2014). He has accumulated seemingly every defensive accolade possible at his position, all while posting a combined 28.6 WAR since breaking into the league in 2007.
While his playmaking prowess most often resides with his glove, Gordon is a well above-average offensive performer as well. He owns a career slash line of .267/.345/.434, consistently producing double-digit stolen bases and around 20 home runs per season. Winner of two consecutive MLBPAA Royals Heart and Hustle Awards, Gordon consistently brings high energy to all aspects of the game.
Gordon consistently ranks among the top-20 in the AL in hits, runs, on-base percentage and extra-base hits. He posted 51 doubles (1st in AL) and five triples (14th in AL) in 2012, all while ranking near the top 10 in runs (93) and on-base percentage (.368).
Though he is off to a slow start this season, going just 1-for-17 in five games. But he is playing out the final season of his contract and, whether or not he elects to stay with the low-budget Royals, one should expect Gordon to put together one of the most productive seasons of his career in 2015.
Even with a marked improvement in offensive numbers, though, Gordon would be hard-pressed to unseat the top three left fielders in the division.
Next: No. 3