The son of former big league reliever Tom Gordon and brother of current infielder Dee, Nick Gordon was the Twins' No. 5 overall pick back in the 2014 Draft and has moved methodically through the system since. There have been highs, like his Futures Game appearance in 2017 and multiple All-Star nods, and there have been lows, like his first taste of Triple-A in 2018. His return to Triple-A in 2019 was better, though a stomach illness early and a leg contusion late forced him to miss a good chunk of the season.
Throughout his Minor League career, Gordon has shown the ability to hit with a contact-oriented, line-drive approach from the left side of the plate, though the strikeout rate has gone up as he’s reached the upper levels. A lack of strength has kept him from impacting the ball at times, and his illness last year didn’t help, but there is some extra-base thump in there. While he’s not a burner, he has excellent instincts on the basepaths and can steal a base.
Like with most of his tools, Gordon’s defensive skills don’t wow anyone, but they’re solid. He has enough arm to play shortstop and good instincts there, but most don’t see him as a big league regular at that spot. He’s fringe-average at that position, but would be an above-average defender at second, probably his best chance at being an everyday player at one position. He’ll keep getting time at both to continue his versatility for a potential utility role in Minnesota.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
There are certain expectations of a player when he's a top five pick in the Draft and has MLB bloodlines. Gordon, the son of former big league pitcher Tom, and Dee's brother, was taken No. 5 overall in the 2014 Draft and in many ways has been chasing the status attached with his name and position in the Draft. While he hasn't been the elite-level player some hoped he would be, he did perform extremely well in Double-A and reached Triple-A at age 22, though he struggled mightily upon his arrival.
Things started off well enough in 2018 for Gordon, who was having a bit of a breakout offensively when he hit .333 with a .906 OPS in the Southern League and earned a bump up a level in late May. After hitting well initially, the wheels came off and his struggles snowballed. One of the biggest causes for the fade, something that also happened in 2017, was a lack of strength that led to questions of durability. To his credit, Gordon learned a lesson last year and worked hard this offseason to add strength. When he's doing well, he has an excellent line-drive approach that leads to good contact, and he showed early on last year that there is some extra-base authority in his left-handed swing.
An average runner, Gordon won't wow anyone on the basepaths or in the field, but his plus instincts help him steal bases and be more than capable on both sides of second base and still have the chance to be a solid big-league regular. The game punched him in the mouth in 2018; now it's time to see how much he can punch back.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55
The son of former big league pitcher Tom Gordon and brother of the Mariners' Dee Gordon, Nick Gordon has moved slowly and steadily, one level at a time, up the Twins' organizational ladder ever since he was taken as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 Draft. His move to the upper levels of the system in 2017 was largely a successful one, including a Futures Game invite and Southern League All-Star nod, though he did struggle in the second half of the season.
Gordon is the type of player who may not jump off the page with any one tool, but does a number of things well. He's typically employed a successful contact-oriented, line-drive approach from the left side of the plate. He did show more extra-base power in Double-A, but with that came a higher strikeout rate, though an increased walk rate offset that to a degree. He's a solid runner with good instincts and will steal a base on occasion, and is a tick above-average defensively, both in terms of his arm and overall actions at shortstop. Many have felt his range points to being a better fit at second base and while he did still primarily play short, he did see more time on the right side of the infield in 2017.
Gordon will be 22 for all of the 2018 season and is knocking on the big league door. He's more of a high floor than ceiling type and isn't far away from showing just what kind of solid everyday big leaguer he can be, on either side of second base.
With steady infield skills and MLB bloodlines, Gordon was one of the top high school position players in the 2014 Draft class. The son of former big league pitcher Tom Gordon and Dee Gordon's half-brother, ended up being the first one taken, No. 5 overall, and has been making his way up the Twins ladder steadily since.
A Florida State League All-Star in 2016, Gordon continued to show an innate ability to make consistent contact from the left side of the plate, both during the regular season and in a strong Arizona Fall League performance. Gordon has a line-drive approach, but he is starting to show more extra-base power and could develop more as he matures. He's shown an ability to steal some bases despite possessing average speed, though some evaluators feel his lack of quickness could necessitate a move to second base in the future. Others feel he will stay there long-term, with good instincts and enough arm for the premium position at the highest level.
Gordon continues to be more high floor than high ceiling, a prospect who doesn't have one "wow" tool, but who can do everything relatively well. He continued his path toward being a solid everyday big leaguer with a strong move to the upper levels.
Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 30 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
The first high school position player taken in the 2014 Draft, Gordon is the son of former big league pitcher Tom Gordon and Dee Gordon's younger brother. He more than held his own as one of the youngest regulars in the Midwest League in his first full season of pro ball, showing why the Twins took him No. 5 overall.
Not known to have a ridiculously high ceiling, Gordon can do a lot of things well, with a higher floor than most high school draftees. He should hit for average, with a line-drive approach from the left side of the plate, and there should be a little extra-base pop as he adds strength. While he's just an average runner, he's an excellent baserunner who has showed some base-stealing ability. That speed gives him just average range, but he has terrific instincts, good hands and a very strong arm, leaving no question he can stay at shortstop long-term.
The Twins never had much doubt Gordon would be a big leaguer one day. How he's begun his career has the organization more enthused about just how good of a player he'll be once he gets there.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 35 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
The Gordon family name is a well-known one in baseball. Nick's father Tom is a former All-Star pitcher and brother Dee has been named to the past two All-Star Games. The younger Gordon had been a mainstay on the showcase circuit for some time, went No. 5 overall in the 2014 Draft and followed up a solid professional debut in the Appalachian League by holding his own in full-season ball.
At one point in time, Gordon could have been taken as a pitcher or a shortstop, but he focused solely on the infield during his senior season. His efforts proved to Twins evaluators that there's no question he can stay at the premium position. His arm used to fire low-90s fastballs from the mound, he has great hands and outstanding instincts.
At the plate, Gordon hits to all fields from the left side of the plate. Right now, he's more of a gap hitter, but he should add some strength and a little power as he matures. While not a burner, Gordon does run well.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55
The son of former All-Star pitcher Tom and younger brother of Dodgers infielder Dee, Gordon was the first high school position player to be taken in the 2014 Draft, and he signed quickly for pick value, $3,851,000.
A former two-way player with a low-90s fastball on the mound, Gordon focused on his middle-infield play as a senior, and the work paid off. He has always had 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 showed the ability to add some strength this spring and will continue to need to add more muscle as he moves up the professional ranks.
A rare high school shortstop who will no doubt stay there, Gordon has the chance to one day become an elite-level talent at the premium position.