by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
There was a time when Alex Gordon was a solid option for fantasy owners, though those days feel like a lifetime ago. He’s never been a source of significant power or speed, but an outfielder who produced 9 HR and 7 SB in 2017? That alone makes him feel virtually unusable. Then couple it with his averages over the past two seasons…
- 2016 – .220
- 2017 – .208
You can argue that the average comes courtesy of some poor luck, with BABIP of .288 and .261 over the past two seasons (despite line drive rates of 24.2% and 24.4%). That would be a fair, and while the strikeout rate did rebound in 2017 (29.2% to 23.3%), he continued to post an inflated SwStr% (at least for him):
- 2016 – 12.2%
- 2017 – 10.2%
Could we expect a bit of an improvement in the average department? Perhaps, but he’s also 33-years old (he’ll turn 34 before the start of the 2018 season) and had significant struggles against fourseam fastballs in ’17. He hit just .205 against them, along with a .304 SLG, and that makes you wonder if he maybe has lost a little bit of bat speed?
Helping to further that concern is his career worst 7.8% HR/FB, as well as his 9.5% popup rate. Obviously those didn’t come just against fastballs, but it’s part of it. At best we’re looking at a .250ish type hitter, unless he gets lucky, and that’s getting hard to believe.
Gordon is never going to be a source of power, only twice has he hit more than 20 HR in a season (never more than 23), nor is he going to be a source of speed (17 SB is his career high, and that came back in 2011). You also have the team getting ready to go through significant changes, and you have to wonder if he’s going to even be a regular heading into 2018 (whether it’s in Kansas City, or if he’s traded away in the offseason).
Whether he’s playing or not, Gordon is going to be a hands off option in ’18.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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