Royals Sign 1st Round Pick Alex Gordon

Kansas City Royals Senior Director-Scouting Deric Ladnier and Senior Vice President Baseball Operations/General Manager Allard Baird announced today that the Royals have signed Alex Gordon, the second overall pick in the 2005 June Free Agent Draft.

Alex Gordon, a 6-1, 215-pound third baseman from the University of Nebraska, led the Huskers to the 2005 Big 12 regular season and tournament titles, an NCAA Regional title and the school's third College World Series appearance.

Gordon joins the Royals organization after sweeping the collegiate baseball awards for college player of the year. He was honored with the Golden Spikes Award from USA Baseball as the nation's top amateur player, the Dick Howser Award by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, the Brooks Wallace Award from the College Baseball Foundation and the American Baseball Coaches Association & Rawlings Player of the Year. He was also an ESPY Award Finalist for the Best Male College Athlete.

"This is a great day for the organization," Ladnier said. "I know Alex is excited to start his career and he'll do that today by heading to Phoenix to begin play in the Instructional League."

"We not only signed a quality player," Baird said. "We signed a quality person. He is obviously a skilled collegiate player that we anticipate will move quickly through our system."

Gordon was the highest first-round selection in Kansas City Royals history, passing Jeff Austin (4th, 1998) and Mike Stodolka (4th, 2000). He was also the highest draft pick out of the University of Nebraska since Darin Erstad was taken first overall in the 1995 draft. Gordon was scouted by Area Scouting Supervisor Phil Huttmann.

Gordon, who bats left and throws right, earned first team All-America honors for the second straight season after hitting .372 (94-253) in 72 games in 2005. He hit 22 doubles, 4 triples, 19 home runs and recorded 66 RBI. Gordon was also successful on 23 of 26 stolen base attempts (.885). He gained recognition for his plate discipline as he drew 63 walks, compared to just 38 strikeouts. He posted a .353 average in his 193 games at Nebraska, where he hit 44 home runs and drove in 189 runs. He also drew 139 walks and struck out just 106 times.

Gordon, 21, is only the second two-time first-team All-American in Nebraska history and finished the season as the Big 12 leader (conference games only) in walks and on-base percentage, while ranking 3rd in home runs, total bases and slugging percentage.

He was named the No. 1 college draft prospect by Baseball America and the second-best prospect overall. Baseball America also named him the best pure collegiate hitter, the second-best collegiate five-tool talent, second-best collegiate power hitter, best collegiate strike-zone judgement and second closest to the Majors among collegiate players.

Gordon has also gained experience using a wood bat, as he was a member of the 2004 U.S. National Team. He helped lead Team USA to an 18-7 overall record, seeing the majority of his playing time at first base, a position he had never played at the collegiate level. During the 2004 summer, he hit .388 with four home runs, 12 RBI and 18 runs scored in 24 contests. He was named the top offensive player at the FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tainan, Taiwan after leading all players with a .524 average (11-for-21) with two homers, five RBI and eight runs scored in eight games.

As a prep at Lincoln Southeast (Neb.) High School, Gordon was a two-time Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year after hitting .483 with 25 home runs and 112 RBI in his high school career. Gordon was a three-time first-team All-Nebraska selection by both the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star and was named one of the nation's top 100 seniors by Baseball America.

He also stood out on the football field, leading the state with seven interceptions as a defensive back. He also averaged 20 yards per catch as a receiver and 35 yards on kickoff returns.

Born, Feb. 10, 1984 in Lincoln, Neb., Gordon was a pre-criminal justice student at Nebraska. The son of Leslie and Mike Gordon, he has three brothers, Eric, Brett and Derek. He comes from a family rich in baseball tradition, as both his father (Mike, Nebraska) and older brother (Eric, Nebraska-Omaha) played college baseball, while his grandfather (Charlie) was the longtime coach at Lincoln Southeast.

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