If you watch the Royals on a regular basis you probably have a sense that Alex Gordon is having a terrific year, but you might also look at a .284 batting average or nine home runs and wonder if, as we’ve gotten used to hearing around here, he’s really having a terrific year or if it only seems like he’s having a terrific year because the rest of the Royals hitters aren’t doing much.

The answer: he’s really having a terrific year.

Among qualified American League outfielders, he is second in Wins Above Replacement^ , first in defensive WAR, first in doubles, second in on-base percentage and fourth in slugging.

^ We’re using B-R’s version here.

He is behind only Mike Trout in WAR and on-base, and behind Trout, Yoenis Cespedes and Adam Jones in slugging.

There’s more to it, too. If you look through the years, Gordon is a shade under halfway through one of the best seasons in Royals history. I know not everyone is comfortable talking WAR, it’s a bulky, complicated calculation but it does a fairly good job of adding together all the ways a player can help his team — getting on base, hitting for power, playing defense^, running the bases, just about everything.