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Nick "Clutch" Gordon - Solidifying His Place on the Team


Sherry Cerny

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When the Twins brought on Andrelton Simmons, I was not impressed by the Gold Glove awards or the 10 Million dollar contract. Since coming to the team, Gordon has been a utility player that is able to cover portions of the infield, as well as, the outfield. With the season basically over, the Twins have been playing with a lot of the guys from the minors and with the rotation of talent that we keep seeing, Gordon could easily be a permanent fixture in 2022. Gordon certainly is not the savior, but compared to Andrelton Simmons, he has more potential for growth and certainly would not be as huge of a dent in the Pohlad’s wallet. 

Nick Gordon spent seven years in the minors. Since 2014 he has continued to climb the ranks since being a 5th overall draft pick. He wasn’t expected to go as far as he did, but he continued to work hard, and by 2019 was pulling a .298 average in Rochester. According to Matthew Taylor of Twins Daily, the second baseman suffered from Covid-19 which derailed his entire 2020 season. Prior to his illness, even if he didn’t move through the minors like others expected, he continued to work hard, improve his plate and field performance and his only hope was to make it to the majors, and make it he did. 

Nick Gordon had a slow start to the beginning of the season, like any minor leaguer would coming up to the Show, but he continues to grow and acclimate along with a few of his comrades. When he is brought up from St. Paul, he is able to cover 2B, 3B, SS, CF and LF. He is not a rock star at all positions, but he can cover them if need be. His performances at CF, 2B and SS show that his speed, agility and focus are an asset to this team.  He has had 2 errors this season, one at 2B and one at 3B, but in comparison to Andrelton Simmons, his infield play is more accurate with Simmons garnering a 12-error season, where in a smaller sample, Gordon has had “0”. The more appearances Gordon makes, the more he improves. 

Gordon’s largest improvement, however, has been at the plate. He continues to impress and work hard and show why he deserves to be a part of the permanent roster. His discipline at the plate has created more confidence and is now hitting a solid .239. This week, on September 5th, the Twins were in a battle with Tampa Bay and the illustrious Nelson Cruz. Early in the game, Gordon doubled into helping himself score on a Jake Cave single in the 2nd inning. In the 7th, he singled in a line drive and stole second - pushing the Twins to tying  the Rays. He wasn’t done though! Gordon, who affectionately would be called “Clutch” after hitting a single in the 9th in a two out rally bringing the Twins to a “W” over the Rays. In every situation - Gordon - would come up clutch for the Twins, solidifying why his presence on the squad would be an advantageous move for the Twins front office. 

The journey from the minors to the Show can be arderougus. Players like Gordon show how hard work and dedication to improvement can make your dreams a reality. With his exit velocity as impressive as his career trajectory, it’s safe to say that Nick Gordon would be a great addition to the roster with the Twins in 2022. 

 

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They put a rookie in the game at different positions he has never played before (or very seldom) in his professional career and hope he doesn't fall on his face.  He doesn't make an error, and he is now Mr. "clutch" at .239 and one good game at the plate.  Or at least that is the message I am getting from the article.  "He is not a rock star at all positions, but he can cover them if need be" might describe 30 or 40 players in the league.  What is wrong with finding a position he is a rock star at and leaving him there instead of trying him out at every position but pitcher and catcher?  Maybe if he grows as a hitter they will, but in the meantime we simply do not need anymore .239 hitting utility players.  Find a home for him and let him play there!  Or play himself out of it, but enough with musical chairs, the baseball version!  It isn't working!

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LOL, but I do like his speed; to see him and Bux on the bases at the same time would be interesting; maybe the Twins can get a steal pf home again.

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I like Gordon, too. I'm pulling for him. I think he's going to play an important role on the big league club in the years ahead. He's going to learn a lot from this year and come into camp even stronger in 2022.

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The FO or Rocco has apparently decided he can't play a decent SS at the ML level. FINE. They are far smarter and more plugged in than I am. But then why in hell have I watched him playing SS the past two ST? I'm NOT saying Polanco shouldn't be the #1 backup SS at the ML level, but why doesn't Gordon at least get a shot to see what he can do there?

I have ZERO illusions the kid is going to go somewhere and become a high quality ML player...other than maybe at 2B for a losing team just looking for potential. But if you liked him enough to protect him, stick by him, and believe enough in his athleticism to learn CF/OF on the fly, and drop him back down to AAA with the purpose of getting AB and playing EVERYWHERE, then for goodness sake let him play at the ML level EVERYWHERE. And that includes SS. I expect no greatness but you might actually end up with an inexpensive, speedy, utility player.

Far short of his original draft status and initial hope, but what's wrong with gaining some real value for him?

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I always felt that if Gordon ever made the major league team, this was a bad sign that the team had tanked.  I suppose that proved to be prophetic.

However, if he is here, he should be playing where the Twins spent years training him to play.  Now that he is on the team, he deserves the same chance every other player deserves when they come up.  

Simmons is pointless.  Let's look at the future and see if Gordon can be a part of it.

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I like Gordon but I see him as a Utility player all the way.  The Twins have more well rounded bats at 2nd and 3rd which I believe is why they had him in center until Buck came back.  He doesn't really seem to fit anywhere on this team other than in a utility role.  The big thing holding him back is slugging\power he just doesn't have that, at least not yet and he is aggressive at the plate so his walk rate is far from elite as well.  He is, however, a better hitter than I give him credit for.  He makes good contact with the ball and K's at a reasonable 25% at the MLB level which might improve to the more palatable 20% in time.  

I still feel he has a good hit tool and could be Arraez lite to some degree with less solid plate discipline.  I don't know if that is good enough to keep him on this team or not.  What would really help him stick is if he could play shortstop.  Having a true backup to the position would make him far more valuable.  Why the Twins can't try him out there I don't know.  I guess they have seen enough in the minors to know he can't do it?  not sure. 

With Lewis, Martin, Miranda and Steer in the wings I just don't see how the Twins can carry Nick on the 40 man much longer.  I think he has a better path to some MLB success on a rebuilding team.  If I were the Twins I would try and trade him even though the return for the 1st rounder would be poor at least it would be something.  If he honestly cannot play shortstop I just don't see room for him on this roster as he is too redundant and with the lack of power the lowest in the pecking order.

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The "he hasn't made an error at SS" argument is pretty ridiculous. He's been a below average fielder at 2B and 3B. What about that makes you think he'd be a good option at SS?

Nick Gordon is one of the players they need to replace if they want to contend.

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