School: Olympia HS (FL)
Height/Weight: 6‘1”, 180
College Commitment: Florida State
Nick Gordon is a great athlete and the top middle infield prospect in the 2014 draft class. He’s a good fielder at SS and scouts have few doubts about his ability to stick at the position. His raw speed and arm strength are both plus tools. Baseball America also gave rave reports on Gordon’s intangibles, writing “Scouts have conviction about Gordon’s makeup, which is among the best in the draft, and say he has top-of-charts instincts”. His hit tool is ahead of his power at this point, and likely always will be, though BA say he has a chance for above average power in the future, especially if he bulks up further.
“Gordon has the actions and arm to stick at shortstop, and his plus speed plays well on the bases. He has a solid left-handed swing and uses the whole field to hit. He’s made some strength gains this spring, but will need to add more muscle to hold his own against big league pitching”. –MLB.com
“He has an advanced feel to hit with a loose cut and hits the ball where it’s pitched. He has 45 raw power that could be a 50, should he be able to add a little more weight. Gordon’s swing can get mechanical at times and his high leg kick could become problematic. Gordon will show plus timed speed but is more of a solid-average runner in game. He has all the tools defensively to be an average defender at shortstop. Gordon’s range, hands, footwork and instincts are all above average and his plus arm forgives the rare mistake”. –Kiley McDaniel, Scout.com
“Near lock to stick at SS. Quick bat. Big arm with very good defense. Arm up to 94 on the mound with the Gordon breaking ball if needed. Bat plays. Power is the biggest question. Will he be strong enough or more like his brother, Dee?” –MinorLeagueBall
Note: these grades are my summations based on all readily available scouting information from sources such as Baseball America, MLB.com and ESPN (Present/Future, 20-80 scale):
Prospect Overview and Future Outlook:
Nick Gordon is the top middle infield prospect in this draft class, but his offensive potential is perhaps somewhat lacking. He added some strength this year but he still probably tops out as an average power hitter at very best. Shortstops with plus defense, arm and speed can be incredibly valuable though.
Nick Grodon has great bloodlines as both his father, Tom Gordon, and his older brother Dee have played in the Majors. Like Nick, Dee is also a shortstop with great speed, but Nick is projected to be a better hitter and fielder than his brother. He could have also followed in his father’s footprint as a pitcher, as his fastball has been clocked as high as 94 with a promising curve. This gives Gordon a fallback option if he can’t make it as a hitter.
Gordon’s upside all depends on how well his bat develops. Given his speed and defense at SS, if he can become a .275/.335/.380 type hitter then he’ll be a very good player. I think that may be a reasonable projection for him too. Absolute upside could be something in the .300/.370/.440 type range, and the lower end projection around .250/.300/.330. For me I wouldn’t be too excited by Nick Gordon due to the lack of offensive upside. I wasn’t very excited by the Sox taking Tim Anderson last year at 1-17, and I think his bat projects better than Gordon’s. This draft class is weak in middle infield prospects and that may be pushing Gordon up the board.