Kicking off the coverage from last weekend's PG World showcase in Fort Myers, Kiley gives us a free scouting report and video of the top player from the event, Nick Gordon.
6'1/170, L/R, 18.6 on Draft Day
I've written about Gordon a lot in the past (click on his name for all the content): he is as high-profile as a draft prospect gets. He's been at nearly every event during showcase season the past few years, he comes from a powerhouse high school program (produced 1st rounders Walker Weickel and Jesse Winker in 2012) in a talent-rich area (Orlando) and has big league bloodlines (father Tom was All-Star reliever and brother Dee is a shortstop for the Dodgers). Some scouts, myself included, didn't buy into the easy first-rounder hype earlier in the summer as Gordon still had some work to do, but I think in Ft. Myers last weekend, he convinced me that he won't get out of the first round.
Gordon is a rare left-handed hitting shortstop and also has good size for the position at 6'1/170. He has an advanced feel to hit with a loose cut and hits the ball where it's pitched, often hitting for his most in-game power to the opposite field. He has 45 raw power that could be a 50 and he should produce about 15 homer annually, should he be able to add a little more weight, something his broad shoulders should allow Nick to do better than Dee. Gordon's swing can get mechanical at times and his high leg kick could become problematic, but professional hitting coaches have more than enough raw talent to work with that little adjustments shouldn't cause problems long-term.
Gordon will show plus timed speed but is more of a solid-average runner in game that's a little faster underway. He has all the tools defensively to be an average defender at shortstop, something that is much rarer to find than it sounds like. Gordon's range, hands, footwork and instincts are all above average and his plus arm forgives the rare mistake, such as staying back on grounders at times. He'll flash two above average pitches in a fastball and curveball on the mound, hitting 95 mph in short stints, but will only pitch sparingly this spring, coming in for an inning or two in relief. It's a smart decision to allow Nick to focus on shortstop, as that is his meal ticket. I don't think there's anyway he makes it to Tallahassee: I could see him going as high as the back of the top 10 and, even with a rough spring, it's hard to see him getting past pick 25 or so.