Alex Gordon’s reputation as a premier player in the baseball world is not arbitrary. Regarded as one of the top defensive talents in the history of the sport, Gordon unquestionably holds a place amongst the confluence of greats, if not the greatest.
There is a compelling argument to be made that former Kansas City Royal Alex Gordon is not only significant but indeed one of the most proficient defensive left fielders in Major League Baseball.
This positions him ahead of such renowned players as Barry Bonds and Carl Yastrzemski.
The validation rests fundamentally on his accomplishments- the runs he saved, the runners he threw out, and his consistent, impressive fielding.
Alex Gordon vs Everyone Else
Runners SavedEmbed from Getty Images
Barry Bonds and Carl Yastrzemski, though remembered as exceptional players are most recognized for their hitting prowess. Simply put, defense wasn’t their primary strength. Statistically, Bonds saved -34 runs defensively in his career, and Yastrzemski saved -18 runs.
Gordon, on the other hand, saved a staggering 124 runs over the span of his career. This accomplishment places him firmly ahead of these two. With such stats, Gordon undoubtably set himself apart as a defensive force to be reckoned with.
Runners Thrown OutEmbed from Getty Images
The ability to throw runners out is another core criterion by which one can gauge the defensive prowess of a left fielder.
In terms of throwing out runners, Gordon again excels. Yastrzemski threw out a respectable 140 runners while Bonds threw out 175. Yet, these numbers pale in comparison to Gordon’s career total of 205 runners thrown out.
An analysis of this skill further accentuates Gordon’s inhabiting the throne for best defensive left fielder. Gordon’s record of 99 assists, with an additional seven in the postseason, makes him the Royals’ franchise leader. Bonds and Yastrzemski, despite their significant contributions, could not surpass this landmark.
Gordon’s arm was a weapon, keeping runners perpetually on their toes. By suppressing potential runs, Gordon was instrumental in controlling the game.
This achievement rendered Gordon a tangible threat for any base runner. Through his solid defensive performance, he positioned himself as a formidable obstacle to his opponents.
FieldingEmbed from Getty Images
Moreover, Gordon’s stellar fielding statistics are irrefutable. His career fielding percentage stands at an enviable .994, a testament to his consistency and reliability on the field. Bonds and Yastrzemski, well-known for their offensive skills, do not come close to this, fielding at .984 and .982 respectively.
The nearly ten points difference, in the case of Bonds, and twelve, for Yastrzemski, underline Gordon’s superlative defensive performance.
Gordon’s aptitude in the outfield not only distinguished him but has also underscored the unwavering quality of his defensive capabilities.
Alex Gordon’s acknowledgment as the best defensive left fielder is also robustly supported by the accolades he accumulated. In his career, Gordon garnered eight Gold Glove Awards.
This award, given annually, recognizes exceptional fielding performance and is a testament to a player’s defensive prowess. The prestige of the award underscores the player’s skill and acumen on the field. Contrastingly, Bonds and Yastrzemski won eight and seven Gold Gloves, respectively.
Yet, Gordon’s achievement is substantiated by the fact he played in fewer seasons, thus earning a higher ratio of awards.Embed from Getty Images
Gordon also acquired two Platinum Glove Awards, which further testify his defensive merit. This accolade is awarded to the best defensive players in each league across all positions.
Neither Bonds nor Yastrzemski won this honor, again adding weight to Gordon’s claim to the title of greatest defensive left fielderever.
Besides these, Gordon amassed four Fielding Bible Awards – an honor recognizing the best fielder for each of the nine positions, regardless of league.
Both Bonds and Yastrzemski fall short of this accomplishment providing further affirmation of Gordon’s superior defensive capabilities. To crown it all, Gordon also claimed a Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award – proving his versatility and consistency on the field.
Was Anyone Better? No!
Evaluating the career statistics and recognizing the awards and accolades, Alex Gordon arguably surmounts as the greatest defensive left fielder of all time.
His competitors, Barry Bonds and Carl Yastrzemski, albeit phenomenal players, largely fall short in terms of defensive prowess.
Whether it’s the runs saved, the runners thrown out, or just the overall fielding stats, Gordon consistently performs at a superior level.Embed from Getty Images
His defensive acumen, backed by his impressive collection of awards firmly place him as one of the game’s all-time greats. Undoubtedly, Alex Gordon has left an indelible mark on the sport that will continue to be celebrated in the annals of baseball history.