There a few guys from my 2005 Draft class making a pretty big impact this season -- like Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmerman and Troy Tulowitzki, and a few others. I've played with a lot of guys from that Draft on summer ball teams and Team USA, so I try to keep up with their progress. We keep in contact and it's always good to see them do well. Hopefully, we can all continue to play well.

Justin Upton, the only guy picked above me in the draft, came up with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's only 19 and contributing to a team in the playoff race. But the most impressive guy from 2005 has to be Braun. He's been lights out for Milwaukee. He hasn't been up here all year and has what, 26 home runs? That's pretty crazy. He didn't hit a homer against us but I've seen a lot of his highlights on ESPN. He's been on there quite a bit.

As for me, I had a terrible start, going 1-for-17, but I've moved on and learned from it. If I ever go through a slump like that again, I can look back and know how to handle it. I know how to get out of a rut. Ever since then, I've felt very comfortable at the plate.

I don't know how well a slow start like that would have been tolerated in a bigger market but my manager Buddy Bell and general manager Dayton Moore stuck with me and believed in me. I'm thankful for that.

I came up pretty quick from the Minors. Everyone wants to make it to the Majors as fast as they can, but you can't worry about that. You've just got to focus almost one day at a time and eventually, if you're doing things right, you'll get called up. The goal is to get here as early as possible and stay as long as you can.

We have some good young players on our team and we're starting to play better. Billy Butler is another rookie who's opening some eyes. I played with Billy in Double-A last year so I know he can hit for average and power. We have a lot of young talent in the Minors waiting to get called up. I think we have some guys who can do some damage up here. There was definitely a lot of talented players with me in Double-A last year and they've progressed in Triple-A. I'm excited to see those guys make it to Kansas City.

Everyone on the Royals knows we have a lot of hard work left to do and we know it's going to take a lot of hard work to make Kansas City a winner again. We're not happy with the way the season has gone. But we have seen improvements and I guess that's one way to look at it: We're improving.

Alex Gordon, the No. 2 pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Nebraska, is hitting .252 with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs and is 6-for-14 with three homers and seven RBIs in his last three games. The 23-year-old third baseman has also stolen 14 bases in his rookie season.