If you're looking for a face of the Royals franchise, right now, look no further than Alex Gordon.

Sure, Billy Butler was an All-Star last year and Eric Hosmer is the wunderkind, but after two Gold Glove Awards and two strong seasons in a row (plus his pre-majors hype and pedigree), Gordon fits the bill. He's a local-ish kid (Lincoln, Nebraska's close enough right?) playing for a team he grew up following. He does just about everything in the field. He looks the part. There's a contest to see which Major League player gets put on the cover of MLB '13 The Show for Playstation 3 and if the Royals had a candidate, I'd say it'd be Gordon.

But if it weren't for Gordon realizing success in 2011 and proving it in 2012, he wouldn't be in line for that kind of stature. Dubbed "the next George Brett" – an unfair set of expectations – Gordon is now setting himself up to be his own player and, if the Royals can get some playoff games over the next few years, is setting himself up to be among the most beloved players in franchise history. He's already in the middle of one of the best stretches in franchise history.

I was thinking about which batters might break out in 2013, but started to think that Butler is established. Salvador Perez has had two parts of seasons combine for a strong debut, and he's drawn a share of buzz. Eric Hosmer had a strong rookie year, Mike Moustakas had a strong end of 2011 that carried into 2012, and Alcides Escobar has been on the map for a while. So rather than dig into who that might be, my mind drifted into Gordon's breakout two years ago and some other reasons for it occurring.