It’s rare that any player truly serves as the face to a franchise. Not unknown, though.

Derek Jeter is always surrounded by gobs of talent on the Yankees, but few question his status as the titular heir to the Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle legacies.

George Brett had lots of help during the Royals’ glory years but he was, and remains, George Brett.

Perhaps it’s time to ask whether Alex Gordon fits that profile for the current Royals as they prepare to open the 2013 season at 3:10 p.m. Monday against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

“You’re seeing the guy I saw in (2006 in) Double-A,” designated hitter Billy Butler said. “Nobody knows why he struggled early (in his career) because he’s got the type of talent where it shouldn’t have happened.

“But it did, and it might even have made him better player than he ever would have been. You look at him now, and he’s all business. But he’s also loosened up.

“He messes around with me. He messes around with all of the guys. That’s the confidence coming out. You want a caliber for that type of player? It’s the highest of the highest. He does his work. He’s a great teammate.

“He’s everything you look for.”