There was a time when folks wondered whether Alex Gordon would ever make it in the big leagues.
Gordon, the failed first-round third baseman-turned Gold Glove left fielder, arrived in a major way to help deliver the Kansas City Royals to their first post-season appearance in 29 years.
His breakout may have been delayed, but now Gordon is here.
And he's always on time.
Gordon's Pre-Game Routine
MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez wrote about Gordon's meticulous pre-game routine, referring to it as "the stuff of legend." Detailing Gordon's transition from under-performing prospect to cornerstone standout for the Royals, Gonzalez wrote: "He did it with uncommon discipline and a pre-game routine that borders on obsessive-compulsive, where every second of every minute of every hour is accounted for, every single day of the arduous baseball season.
"Gordon works out with a stopwatch in his hand, so he can track every second spent in the weight room. Royals manager Ned Yost has often said Gordon uses the bathroom at the exact same time each day, and nobody thinks he's joking.
"He just can't afford any wasted seconds—or milliseconds, for that matter."
Gordon's pre-game punctuality serves him well, but his timeliness in the batter's box is what has keyed his success at the dish.
A notorious fastball killer, Gordon says his biggest offensive adjustment has been shortening up his swing and resisting the urge to swing for the fences.
Most important, Gordon has a plan every time he digs in at the plate. He says, "The first thing is that I'm always looking for a fastball. I'm always on time and ready to hit the fastball."
Gordon's Hitting Strategy
- Have a specific plan for every at-bat
- Look for a fastball down the middle and to the outside corner of the plate
- Never cheat in for an inside fastball
- Keep the hands back and be ready to adjust to an off-speed pitch
- Stay loose in the upper body and don't swing for the fences
- Keep the hands inside the ball to drive it to the opposite field or up the middle
- Keep the bat in the zone as long as possible
Gordon's Bonus Batting Practice Tip
Follow through your swing with both hands on the bat. "I think that frees up my body and keeps my upper body loose," Gordon says. "When game time comes, I don't always do that, because the adrenaline might be pumped up and I might let go of the bat. In batting practice I think that's a good technique, to swing with two hands, because it keeps the upper body loose."
Learn how Alex Gordon reads pitchers.
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