Quick hitters on SS Nick Gordon, who signed Monday with the Twins
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MINNEAPOLIS - The Twins on Monday signed and introduced shortstop Nick Gordon, the team's first-round draft selection. Twins GM Terry Ryan confirmed it was Gordon signed for the recommended slot value: $3,851,000.
Gordon signed relatively quickly for a high selection. Why did he feel the urge to get the contract done so soon?
"Because I'm ready to play," Gordon said. "Pro ball is every kid's dream and that's my dream as well. I don't feel I should hold myself back. I feel I should get ready and get on the field and get this thing started."
Ryan added with a smirk: "There was a little tidy signing bonus--that helps, too."
Here are some quick hitters on Gordon:
--Gordon will be assigned to Elizabethton, Tenn., to play with the Twins affiliate in the Appalachian League. After that, he'll likely participate in instructional league, provided he's willing, Ryan said.
--Ryan said Gordon's best 'tool' is his glove. (The other widely recognized tools are: the ability to hit for power, the ability to hit for average, speed, and arm strength and accuracy.) Ryan praised his hands, agility, arm strength and accuracy.
--The Twins believe he has the ability to remain a shortstop long-term, scouting director Deron Johnson said after the draft.
--People from the Twins draft room are split on whether or not Gordon will add power to his repertoire. Terry Ryan, who said he has only seen video of Gordon, and Johnson, both believe Gordon can add power.
"You look at his frame and you look at what players can do in a weight room. You don't want to see this guy get all bulked up and be a weightlifting guy but he's certainly going to add strength. He can drives baseballs now. Now it's just a matter of growing into his body. ... He's going to end up being a guy that can drive a baseball; he's not going to be a slap guy."
--Gordon is about 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, and the Twins believe he'll add weight to his frame. His brother, Dee, moved off of shortstop to play second base for the Dodgers. He's listed as 5-11, 172 pounds.
--Nick Gordon is very polished, in terms of speaking to the media. This perhaps is a minor thing, but one likely reason he's so comfortable around cameras and recorders is that his dad Tom "Flash" Gordon pitched in the Majors for parts of 21 years.
--The Twins are getting criticized in some places for drafting a high school shortstop so high in the draft. There are a few scouting services and writers that I read and trust a lot. With high school draft picks, I tend to give teams the benefit of the doubt because of how many hundreds of hours they've spent trying to solve the question, 'Should we draft Nick Gordon fifth overall?' compared to the relatively small amount of time I've considered the matter.
--Gordon was once regarded as a pitching prospect, too, but he's exclusively a shortstop now, both parties said.