With all the current buzz centering around Nolan Arenado. I though I would take a look at St. Louis's own Nolan, Nolan Gorman that is.
Steve Turco roving instructor for the St Louis Cardinals minor league system said of Gorman in 2018. “When I looked at the high school kids who previously played for me, one who came to mind who really had success at this level was Brent Butler.” He used phrases like "You are seeing a kid who is mature beyond his years." When talking about his power Turco said this “The first time I saw Gorman I wanted to throw batting practice to him and I thought his power was comparable to (Chris) Duncan,”*
Obviously a very hefty praise for an 18 year old fresh out of high school.
Randy Flores who heavily scouted Gorman called him a "high profile guy for a long time." *
Mark DeJohn Cardinals minor league field coordinator had this to say “He’s gotten off to a good start. Hopefully he continues that. I’m very impressed by him. The ball jumps off his bat, and you don’t always see that with high school kids. He’s far from the finished product, and I think there is so much more to him hitting-wise."*
What is it about Gorman that has these three guys drooling?
LG Team seasons G PAs AV /OB /Slg HR RBI
RK (Johnson City) 2018 38 167 .350/.443/.664 11 28
A (Peoria) 2018 & 2019 92 389 .230/.326/.442 16 57
A+ (Palm Beach) 2019 58 230 .256/.304/.428 5 21
While the numbers aren't gaudy by many standards they do show that he does have pop in his bat 1 HR every 5.8 games and 1 RBI every 1.7 games. Most of that due to a great season in Rookie ball. but even taking rookie ball out of the equation he still hit a HR about every 7 games. The good part he is only 19 ( he will turn 20 in May).
In terms of fielding he is very raw with 42 errors in only 158 games there is ample room for improvement. Although it seems he does improve with familiarity. 12 errors in 82 chances in his first year of A ball 9 in 149 chances. His second year the when promoted to High A ball 12 errors in 117 chances. The bright spot besides his age he is learning as he goes and continues to improve.
It is clear Gorman is a top 10 Cardinal prospect. I had the chance to meet and listen to this young man at a recent caravan stop in Champaign, IL. He is a very well spoken and a humble young man who seems to have a good grasp on what it takes to be successful at the MLB level.
However it is also clear that he is still at least two years from being a regular at Busch stadium. He will probably start at High A and move to double A at some point in 2020. If he is successful in 2020 he could be in Memphis at the start of 2021. How long he stays in Memphis is totally up to him.
That is of course unless he is traded, which he could be if the Cardinals find the right trading partner and the right price. His name has been mentioned in many trade deals(nothing more than rumors) the most recent circling around Nolan Arenado. It is no doubt other teams look at his bat and project what he could be. However they also know that he is still developing. Given all that unless he just explodes I don't see him before 2022.
Thank you for reading let me know what you think either here or hit me on Twitter @bortas2002
* From STLSportsPage.com by Rob Raines 11/14/2018