Everyone knew that Justin Upton was going to be selected first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2005 MLB Draft. The Kansas City Royals, who had the second pick in the 2005 Draft, could have gone in one of several directions. Rather than take busts like Jeff Clement or Wade Townsend, the Royals picked Nebraska star Alex Gordon. 15 years ago today, the direction of the franchise changed forever.
During his pro career, Gordon converted from a third baseman into a left fielder, where he immediately became one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. In 13 seasons with the Royals, Gordon has been named an All-Star three times and has seven Gold Gloves to his name. A .258 hitter with 186 home runs, Gordon was in the heart of the order for a Royals team that won back-to-back AL Pennants.
Gordon signed a one-year deal with the Royals, so the truncated 2020 season might be his last dance.
Gordon might not have the respect or national publicity by virtue of paying in relative anonymity in Kansas City, but history will look favorably on a guy who was he unquestioned leader of a team that won two pennants in a row in a stacked AL.