On the same day the Twins activated Alex Kirilloff off the injured list, another one of the organization's first-round selections -- Nick Gordon -- also made his season debut. After missing the first month of the season with a bout with acute gastritis, Minnesota's 10th-ranked prospect returned Thursday and singled three times, drove in
On the same day the Twins activated Alex Kirilloff off the injured list, another one of the organization's first-round selections -- Nick Gordon -- also made his season debut.
After missing the first month of the season with a bout with acute gastritis, Minnesota's 10th-ranked prospect returned Thursday and singled three times, drove in a run and scored once for Triple-A Rochester, which fell to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7-3, at PNC Field.
The 23-year-old began his 2019 campaign as the Red Wings' leadoff man. He dribbled the second pitch he saw from RailRiders right-hander David Hale out in front of the plate, but Gordon utilized his speed to beat catcher Ryan Lavarnway's throw to first. The shortstop scored the game's first run on Tomás Telis' sacrifice fly later in the frame.
Gordon was in the thick of a Rochester rally three innings later. He worked a 3-1 count against Hale and shot a single to center to plate Drew Maggi for his first RBI of the year. The native of Orlando, Florida, collected his third hit of the night in the sixth by slapping a ball through the left side with third baseman Mandy Alvarez drawn in on the grass.
Gameday box score
The Twins selected Gordon in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2014 Draft out of Olympia High School. He immediately began producing at the dish while steadily climbing the ladder of the Minor Leagues. He started the 2018 season repeating the Southern League with Double-A Chattanooga and tore it up, batting .333/.381/.525 in 42 games for the Lookouts.
The strong start led to a promotion to Rochester, where the son of former Major League pitcher Tom Gordon scuffled. He hit .212 with a .544 OPS and two homers and 29 RBIs over 382 at-bats (99 games) in the International League.
"Almost every player, there's a few that go through systems that don't encounter adversity, but most players hit a level somewhere where they have to make those adjustments and do different things," Twins director of player development Mike Radcliff told MiLB.com in March. "I don't think there's any overreaction or overcompensation on our part. So much of it is a repercussion of his body -- he's faded the last three years in the latter part of each season. He needs more bulk, he needs more strength."
The 2017 All-Star Futures Game selection enjoyed a bountiful debut last year as well, going 4-for-5 with a triple and an RBI for Chattanooga.
For Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Alvarez and Gosuke Katoh paced the offense with three hits apiece.
Kirilloff, Minnesota's No. 2 prospect and MLB.com's No. 8 overall, went 0-for-3 with a walk for Double-A Pensacola in his 2019 debut.
Chris Bumbaca is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @BOOMbaca.