Young Nick Gordon knows how to pick his role models.

Asked Thursday who he patterns his game after, the Twins' newest first-round draftee cited older brother Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees star Derek Jeter in a conference call with Twin Cities media.

"I want to be the player Derek Jeter is one day," said Nick Gordon, an 18-year-old shortstop from Orlando's Olympia High School. "He's a leader; he's accountable. He's always in the right place. He's a professional on and off the field."

As for his brother, who leads the majors with 35 stolen bases in 39 attempts, Gordon was just as complimentary.

"My brother can really play the game," Nick Gordon said. "He plays the game hard, and he doesn't take it for granted.

Even through the struggles he's been through, he's learned to work his way through them and make adjustments. I want to be able to do that when I get older, and I know I'll be able to do that."
In drafting Gordon fifth overall, the Twins hope the son of former big-league pitcher Tom "Flash" Gordon will blossom into an all-star caliber player.

Twins scouting director Deron Johnson mentioned former Twins shortstop J.J. Hardy and current Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew as big-league shortstops who are comparable to the 6-foot, 175-pound Gordon.

"We've been locked in on Nick," said Johnson, who first saw Gordon as a 10th-grader. "We obviously liked a lot of the pitchers picked ahead of us, but Nick was our guy from the start. We liked his ability to play shortstop. He's got a really good swing. I think he's going to have power down the road. We expect big things from him."

The left-handed hitter has added strength to his body and lift to his swing in recent months, giving Gordon confidence to predict one day he "could hit 20-25 bombs" per year out of the leadoff spot.

"I know I could be that next Carl Crawford leading off or that next Derek Jeter leading off," he said. "I know I can do those things.