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Article: After Rap Debut, Nick Gordon Has Twins Debut In SIght

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 10:51 PM

Nick Gordon was one of the youngest players in the Southern League in 2017. He was an All Star and played in the Futures Game. Despite a strong showing in spring training with the Twins, Gordon returned to Chattanooga to start the 2018 where he was again one of the youngest players in the league. Last month, he was promoted to Triple-A Rochester where he is again one of the youngest in the league.

Recently we caught up with the talented 22-year-old about his season, but we also asked him about his music debut and some of his rap influences.Nick Gordon went to big league camp this year as a non-roster invite for the second straight year. When he was sent back to minor league camp, Paul Molitor was asked about his spring.

Molitor said, “I think he was a lot more comfortable. We saw him swinging the bat pretty well for the most part. We saw him on both sides of the base defensively. There's still some work to be done there in terms of consistency. You have to be pleased with the way he's progressed offensively. His at-bats were really competitive when he got the opportunity to play.“

So it was surprising to most when the season began and he was sent back to Chattanooga. Gordon took the decision in stride.

“They pretty much have a plan for me, and I trust what they have.” Gordon continued, “There was a thing that I have to develop and get better that I know as well. It’s all about learning, becoming a better player, a better teammate, all those things. It all goes into being a great player regardless of AA or AAA. Whenever they felt I was ready for AAA, they made that decision.”

Through 42 games with the Lookouts, Gordon was hitting .333/.381/.525 (.906) with 10 doubles, three triples, five homers and seven stolen bases. In late May, he finally got that call to move up to Triple-A Rochester. Through his first 34 games with the Red Wings, he has had some ups and downs. He’s hitting .256/.276/.357 (.633) with seven doubles and three homers.

Gordon acknowledges that it has been an adjustment. “Definitely, pitchers mix up pitches pretty well. They command their offspeed pitches. You grow with the level, and guys here are definitely experienced. There are guys who have been in the big leagues and guys who are on the verge of being in the big leagues. So, it’s definitely guys who know how to command the strike zone. They don’t give in too much.”

Gordon got off to a fast start, and then he struggled, and that’s where the adjustments come. In AAA, he does have those veteran types to use as mentors, to ask questions and to watch them work.

“I definitely try to learn as much as I can from my teammates, and guys that you play against here and have been in the big leagues and done great things. You look at the things they do and you take from that and you learn from that. Definitely being young in the game, there is a lot to learn. So I just try to take it all in, sit back and hear what everybody has to say, try new things, see what works for me and works for my game.”

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Last summer, Nick Gordon had just finished playing in the Futures Game when we talked to him. He had just met Christina Milian and got his picture with her. We talked baseball, but we also talked music.

Music is an important part of Gordon’s life for a variety of reasons. This offseason, he put out his first single under his stage name “G Cinco.” I’m the Man became a very popular song and video on YouTube and people started talking about Nick Gordon, the rapper. Over the course of the offseason, he dropped I Do It All, an online album full of songs that he wrote and recorded.



It wasn’t necessarily something he was planning on doing. Asked if it was in the plans when we talked a year ago, Gordon said, “Not really. It just kind of happened. It spontaneously happened. People heard the song and they went online and it took off from there.”

Unlike playing baseball, Gordon didn’t have goals or expectations for gauging his music’s success. It’s just something that he enjoys, and he feels that it has helped him on the baseball field as well. “

“The game of baseball comes with a lot of pressure, but that’s what we signed up for. Music is... sometimes you just need to clear your mind. To be honest, it helps me keep my focus. There are things in my music that are toward the game of baseball. That music puts me in a place where I feel like I can get a lot done.”

Fans have enjoyed it, but so have his teammates, friends and others around the game. He says that his teammates “all enjoy it. They play it. Kind of mess around with it.”

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Gordon continued, “I’ve actually had a couple of people walk up to it. (Dan) Vogelbach plays with my brother. He walked up to it. Sweeney walks up to it. We’ve got a Low A pitcher who walks up to it as his song. We’ve got some guys who enjoy it. I hear a lot from people who listen to it and things like that. It’s definitely fun to get a reaction from those guys.”

He also recorded several videos for his songs with his friends.

“It was pretty cool. It was a couple of my guys that I get to hang out with in the offseason, some of my best friends that I grew up with. We have fun with it and act crazy on camera and do whatever comes to mind. We enjoy it.”

Gordon’s music is unique. So who does he model his rap style after, and what is important to him about it?

“I wouldn’t say I model myself after anyone. I like all music that has meaning to it,where you can kind of relate to it. So much is things that sound good, the party beats and things like that. They don’t catch my attention. I like the songs that make you feel good. I like music with a meaning. I like artists that can tell stories. I like listening to Drake a lot because of the lyrics, and J. Cole. The music they make, it’s relatable. That’s the kind of music I like ot listen to.”

He’s heard from some people in the rap industry. He’s seen his music posted by others in the music business on social media sites. “Just to see that is pretty cool.”

However, it is important for Nick Gordon to make sure people know what is most important to him. “All in all, I’m a baseball player. For me, hopefully someday, I’ll be on ESPN rather than MTV.”

When the interview added, “Or both?,” Gordon laughed and agreed, “Or both… yeah!”

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So yes, back to baseball. Gordon puts in early work often throughout the week. He understands that while he is one step from the big leagues, there are still things that he needs to improve upon. There is one thing that he is focusing on most right now.

“Definitely trusting myself instinctually defensively. That’s definitely something for me that I’ve been working on day in and day out here. Being an athlete, it’s a process. I definitely feel like I’m progressing. I know I can swing the bat. I know I can put the bat on the ball. It’s about fine-tuning and becoming a professional hitter. It’s not just about making contact. It’s not just about base hits. It’s about having an approach. Having a plan at the plate. Staying disciplined.”

With the Lookouts, Gordon played 34 games at shortstop and six games at second base. Since joining the Red Wings, he has played 25 games at shortstop with nine games at second. Since Gregorio Petit was outrighted back to the Red Wings, the two have alternated between the two positions. That’s something that Gordon is completely on board with.

“I feel good at both. I get a lot of work at both. I’m playing second tonight. I feel comfortable around the base on both sides, so it’s just about going out there and being an athlete.”

At the same time, Gordon also acknowledges that being just one call away from the big leagues is exciting. It’s getting closer.

“Definitely can’t wait for it. Feel like you’re so close and so far away and all you can do is work. Whatever is going to happen is going to take care of itself. But when that day does come, words won’t be able to explain it. It’s the same as when I got drafted, still the same excitement.”

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Nick Gordon enjoyed his success as G Cinco and it’s likely something that will continue in the offseason. He enjoys music, but he is a baseball player first and foremost.

He’s following the dream that he’s had his entire life. Since he was young, he was often in big league clubhouses with his dad. His brother has won batting titles and stolen base titles, and he’s been an All Star. But Nick Gordon is following his own path, making his own waves. That big league life and storyline will likely begin soon, and he’s going to enjoy it.


“For me, I’m blessed to have a uniform on, so whether it’s AA or AAA or the big leagues, I’m just grateful to be playing the game.”

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#2 rdehring

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 05:21 AM

Interesting read, Seth, thanks!

 

Expect the timing of that call and where he plays once he gets here will depend on what the Twins do with Dozier next month, if anything.Good to see that he is seeing some time at second base, unlike a few years ago when Polanco was called up and had seen almost zero innings at shortstop.

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#3 puckstopper1

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 06:25 AM

I've been a big Gordon fan since the Twins drafted him, and am appreciative of the in depth look at him.

 

Two things stick out to me as solid positives.One is that he continues to put in extra time.Even though he is one step away for the Big Leagues, he knows that he needs to continue to get better.  

 

The second is his attitude.He said “For me, I’m blessed to have a uniform on, so whether it’s AA or AAA or the big leagues, I’m just grateful to be playing the game.”

 

Both of these should serve him well as his career progresses.

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#4 MangLitch

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 07:54 AM

Can we just bring this kid up already?

 

Put him at SS and see what happens. Then when Dozier is traded for a bag of baseballs, figure out what combination you want in the infield. I like the fact the this kid is willing to play wherever and doesn't have a big ego about only being a SS.

 

 


#5 FlauerPauer

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 08:37 AM

Excited to seem him play. At the Red Wings game I went to on Monday he looked solid in the field and with the bat.He seemed to have a decent approach for trying to get on base and make the pitcher work.He fouled off a bunch of tough pitches and out the ball in play three out of four times. Made all the plays in the field as well. Didn't really have anything tough to make, but still important to make the easy plays. Very excited to see what he does at the majors. I imagine it will be a minute before he is a stud, but he has the tools, talent, and work ethic to make it there. Good read, Seth and good luck, Nick!

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#6 slash129

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 10:42 AM

Tell him to flush the lame rap gig as a condition for promotion ... That video is pretty bad.

#7 Riverbrian

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 01:26 PM

 

Tell him to flush the lame rap gig as a condition for promotion ... That video is pretty bad.

 

Some people can play baseball at a level unattainable by very very very few.

 

Some people have artistic creativity, write, perform and they take the time and effort to complete projects and share them. 

 

Then there are other people who do none of those things who take cheap shots at them. 

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#8 caninatl04

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:08 PM

Isn't another Minnesota-based phenom "distracted" by a musical career?Andrew Wiggins?


#9 Tom Froemming

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 02:33 PM

If I remember correctly, John Curtiss is also a musician, though I don't believe he's recorded/released anything. Trevor May is a DJ and, of course, Joe Mauer had/has a rap studio in his house.

 

I think it's good for these guys to have side endeavors outside of baseball. I don't think it's any more of a distraction than, say, Kent Hrbek's love of the outdoors throughout his playing days (and beyond).

 

Baseball is Nick Gordon's job, but everybody has to have things they enjoy doing outside of their job, right?

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#10 slash129

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 03:14 PM

It's amazing what some people allow to pass as "artistic creativity" these days. My guess is that the early unreleased work of Mary Barnes is Gordon's biggest influence.

#11 Carole Keller

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 04:02 PM

 

It's amazing what some people allow to pass as "artistic creativity" these days. My guess is that the early unreleased work of Mary Barnes is Gordon's biggest influence.

Everyone needs a release of something they like to do. I like to bake but I am far from ... and I mean far from ... being a pastry chef. I also like to dabble in other things and sometimes share the results with friends and whatnot and trust me, I am no artist and often laugh at my own results. And so what if these side endeavors won't win awards? Who cares if they aren't up to a professional standard? That's not the point of having a hobby. The point is having to do something you like to do, for fun, because it's fun for you. Not because you are trying to make some kind of statement of how good of an artist you are. Sheeeeesh ... tough crowd! I think Gordon has made it clear ... baseball is his career, and the rap thing is his hobby. Really ... why don't you show us what you do for fun and let us be extremely critical at how awful you are at it. Otherwise, knock it off.

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#12 Danchat

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 06:14 PM

 

Interesting read, Seth, thanks!

 

Expect the timing of that call and where he plays once he gets here will depend on what the Twins do with Dozier next month, if anything.Good to see that he is seeing some time at second base, unlike a few years ago when Polanco was called up and had seen almost zero innings at shortstop.

Yeah, with Escobar and Dozier potentially goners by July 31st, I would hope to see Gordon come up in August. I'd like to see how he adjusts to major league pitching and take things slow - I'd like to find out what the Twins might need to do over the offseason at the infield positions, and Gordon will be a factor in some capacity.


#13 Vanimal46

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 06:20 PM

Everyone needs a release of something they like to do. I like to bake but I am far from ... and I mean far from ... being a pastry chef.


Pfft... Rumor has it there's a waiting list for your Christmas cookies! And demand nationwide!

Well, at least in Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, and Arizona...
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#14 nicksaviking

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 06:23 PM

Pfft... Rumor has it there's a waiting list for your Christmas cookies! And demand nationwide!
Well, at least in Oregon, Texas, Minnesota, and Arizona...


Add North Dakota to the list.

And they don't even have to be good. But I'm sure they are.
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#15 Riverbrian

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 07:53 PM

 

Everyone needs a release of something they like to do. I like to bake but I am far from ... and I mean far from ... being a pastry chef. I also like to dabble in other things and sometimes share the results with friends and whatnot and trust me, I am no artist and often laugh at my own results. And so what if these side endeavors won't win awards? Who cares if they aren't up to a professional standard? That's not the point of having a hobby. The point is having to do something you like to do, for fun, because it's fun for you. Not because you are trying to make some kind of statement of how good of an artist you are. Sheeeeesh ... tough crowd! I think Gordon has made it clear ... baseball is his career, and the rap thing is his hobby. Really ... why don't you show us what you do for fun and let us be extremely critical at how awful you are at it. Otherwise, knock it off.

 

If your cookies were a video... I'd watch.:)

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#16 FlauerPauer

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 09:27 PM

 

Trevor May is a DJ 

 

He is also an avid video gamer. He is incredible at Fortnite. I could be wrong, but I believe he is a major contributor to the ESports. Seriously though, he is awesome at Fortnite.

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#17 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 08:45 AM

He is also an avid video gamer. He is incredible at Fortnite. I could be wrong, but I believe he is a major contributor to the ESports. Seriously though, he is awesome at Fortnite.


Sounds like he has a 2nd career waiting for him if this whole baseball thing doesn't work out.

#18 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 09:05 AM

 

If I remember correctly, John Curtiss is also a musician, though I don't believe he's recorded/released anything. Trevor May is a DJ and, of course, Joe Mauer had/has a rap studio in his house.

 

I think it's good for these guys to have side endeavors outside of baseball. I don't think it's any more of a distraction than, say, Kent Hrbek's love of the outdoors throughout his playing days (and beyond).

 

Baseball is Nick Gordon's job, but everybody has to have things they enjoy doing outside of their job, right?

 

Wait, did you just say Mauer has/had a rap studio in his house?

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#19 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 09:11 AM

Wait, did you just say Mauer has/had a rap studio in his house?


You haven't heard his latest singles "Kemps in my Veins" and "Mauer Chevrolet Thuggin'"?
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#20 DocBauer

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 07:23 PM

While I have been in a dry spell for a time now, I write. I fell in love with poetry years ago and abandoned fiction it. I used to write a couple pieces weekly, and perform at open Mic. Never once had an employer come up to me and tell me my free time should be spent on work instead of my writing as it showed I wasn't serious about my job.

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