Top Prospect Nolan Gorman
The St. Louis Cardinals are sitting on several great prospects in their farm system that they hope will eventually make their major league debuts. Their top prospect, Dylan Carlson, has garnered plenty of attention. He has a high ceiling and St. Louis fans are eager for him to get the call up, but he isn’t the only prospect that the Cardinals front office is excited about.
Many believe that their second-best prospect is Nolan Gorman. He is only 19 years old, but already shows a lot of upside. The third baseman out of Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix, Arizona was drafted in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft. Fangraphs ranked him the 11th best available going into the draft, but slid down to 19 and went to the Cardinals.
The Cardinals were thought to be in place to draft a college pitcher, but couldn’t resist taking Gorman after he fell a couple of spots. Most of the scouts love his ability to hit for power. He won a home run derby in high school, in addition to the Under Armor – All America derby.
Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post – Dispatch discussed meeting him in person and shaking his hand. He said it was as if his hands were made out of the same stuff as his Louisville Slugger. That is understandable when he shows the way he can hit a baseball.
Cardinals Manager talked about his ability at the plate.
“The skill set,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “You see him hit and you go: ‘OK, that’s what that looks like.’ … You go around the field and you see what a big-league player looks like. Seeing what the size looks like, you see how the ball comes off the bat, you just see a skill set that’s relative to say — that skill set can play at a higher level.”
His Performance by the Numbers
In 2019 he had combined play with Class A Peoria and Class A Palm Beach. In 125 games, he hit 248/.326/.439, .765 OPS, 15 HR, 51 XB, 62 RBIs, 45 BB, 152 K. There have been some concerns regarding his swings and misses. However, his high ceiling still exists because of his raw power. Prior to 2020, Baseball America had him ranked as the 55th best prospect in the minors.
The scouts are paying attention to his number of base hits. Because Gorman is only 19 years old, many believe that a lot of those doubles will become home runs once he matures. If so, he is in for a major power outbreak. Of his 113 hits in 2019, 51 of them went for extra bases.
“Muscular with a broad chest and strong hands, Gorman possesses the plus-plus raw power to make balls disappear,” Baseball America wrote about him. “He has the ingredients to be an average hitter as he improves his approach.”
Gorman isn’t as ready as Carlson for the majors, so it’ll be some time before he is playing in St. Louis. He will have more time in Peoria, Palm Beach, and possibly the move up to Double-A Springfield before getting the big call up. Some scouts believe it could happen late 2021.
It will be interesting to see how the COVID-19 epidemic effects prospects around the league. If the season is delayed, it could also delay the advancement of young talent. As long as Nolan Gorman continues to show promise with his powerful bat, the Cardinals organization will keep an eye on the right time to bring him to Busch Stadium.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images