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Twins sign first-round pick Gordon

The Twins signed shortstop Nick Gordon, their top selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, for $3,851,000 on Monday.

"This is a quality player with a quality makeup and quality skills," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said at a Monday afternoon news conference announcing the signing. "We had nine different scouts see him this year, and 16 scouts see him in the last two years. So we had good looks."

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The 18-year-old Gordon, out of Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla., was selected with the fifth overall pick last week. His signing bonus, which is right in line with the slotted value for the No. 5 pick, is the fourth highest in Twins history, behind Byron Buxton ($6 million), Joe Mauer ($5.15 million) and Kohl Stewart ($4,544,400). Gordon will report to the Twins' Rookie-level affiliate in Elizabethton, Tenn., which opens its season on June 19.

"We had a pretty good idea that he was going to sign if he was selected in the right spot," Ryan said.

Gordon was ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect in the Draft, and was said to have the best infield arm among Draft prospects by Baseball America. He is the son of former big league pitcher Tom "Flash" Gordon and the brother of Dodgers infielder Dee Gordon.

"I'm so thankful to wear this jersey and this hat," Gordon said. "It's a blessing to be a Minnesota Twin. The feeling's great. There's no better feeling. I'm ready to get started."

Gordon hit .494 with 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 27 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 99 plate appearances this year as a senior. He was named the Gatorade Florida Baseball Player of the Year and a Perfect Game All-American last year as a junior.

The turnaround time -- four days -- between getting drafted and signing his first big league contract was particularly fast.

"This is a rarity," Ryan said. "Players don't sign this quick, especially not first-rounders."

Gordon chalked this up to his desire to begin working. He said he trains five days a week, sessions that include copious amounts of infield work. He's also gained 15 pounds in the past year thanks to his steady workout regimen.

"The work doesn't stop," Gordon said. "The drafting and getting signed is just a little piece of the pie. That's what my dad always says. Now's when the real work starts. It's time to achieve my goal and get ready to play."

Tom Gordon, who pitched in the Majors for parts of 21 seasons and was a three-time All-Star, said that his son benefited from being around the Major League clubhouses growing up.

"The important thing is that he gets really comfortable playing professional baseball," Tom Gordon said. "He gets really comfortable playing with guys that he needs to make better. Everywhere he's gone, he's made the team way better."

Gordon will travel to Fort Myers, Fla., to participate in a Twins minicamp before reporting to Elizabethton.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. Alex M. Smith is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @asmiff.

Minnesota Twins