Skeptics Say: The speed and power have always been there, but where did that batting average come from? It appears to be lifted by a career high .358 BABIP. He has had higher BABIP in various handful appearances in the minors, but the closest he came at the major league level was .303 in 2007, which led to a .247 AVG. high BABIP for players with speed isn't unheard of, but they are usually in the .330ish range, not almost .360. We only have one good year to look at though, and putting BABIP up against his batted ball data, does show a favorable outcome (career low in fly ball rate, leading to more grounds and liners) but it shouldn't account for it being that high. Regression in the batting average department is almost a sure thing. As far as his base running is concerned he was caught stealing 8 times in only 25 attempts, which isn't terribly efficient, so he might not be getting a green light for that as often.
Peer Comparison: I think calling Alex Gordon a poor man's Andrew McCutchen for fantasy purposes is a pretty fair assessment. Both guys will get you speed and power on your team, with 'Cutch getting you an edge in speed. As far as I'm concerned their power is a coin flip. However McCutchen is probably going to go in the 2nd or 3rd round of drafts (10 team), you can probably get Gordon in round 5 or 6, possibly being a better value pick.
Team Outlook: Gordon was the Royals lead off man last year, but could be removed from that spot in favor of Lorenzo Cain. I'm not worried about him being moved lower in the lineup so long as he isn't batting 8th or 9th. As I mentioned previously he isn't overly efficient on the base paths, so if he is moved down I wouldn't expect much more than 14 or 15 steals this year. On the plus side, he could see in increase in RBI's.
What They're Saying: CBS Sportsline - #15 in the Top 80 Outfielders; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com - #15 in the Top 70 Outfielders & #48 in the Top 250; RotoChamp - #76 in the Top 300
Projection: Like I said before, we all knew Gordon had power and speed, but I really think that BABIP is just too high to be something he can repeat in 2012. I don't think that means he is going to drop all the way back to his .240 average days either...
.280 AVG, 21 HR, 90 RBI, 78 Runs, 14 steals, .368 OBP, .838 OPS in 650 AB's