Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Signing Nick Gordon

Nick Gordon and Terry Ryan at Monday's press conference.
(Photo from the Twins twitter account.)

The Twins signed first-rounder Nick Gordon on Monday.

That he was a quick sign wasn't a surprise. What did surprise me was that the Twins will have him start at Elizabethton in the Appy League.

Their standard practice with signees fresh out of high school is to have them play, at least for a few weeks, in the Gulf Coast League for their complex team at Fort Myers. College picks are more likely to be assigned to E-town upon signing. It's probably been more than a decade since the Twins had a high schooler skip the GCL (Joe Mauer in 2001).

Terry Ryan said they're confident Gordon is capable of dealing with the more advanced pitching in the Appy League. But he also implied -- correctly, in my opinion -- that nobody should read too much into whatever numbers Gordon puts up this summer.

Ryan specifically cited Byron Buxton, who he said didn't put up big numbers in that first summer of pro ball. And yeah, Buxton hit just .242 over two levels of rookie ball in 2012: .216 for Fort Myers, .286 when he was moved up to Elizabethton. By all accounts, Buxton took some big steps forward in instructional ball during autumn.

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