How Good Is Nolan Gorman?

Frank Jones

How Good Is Nolan Gorman

When evaluating prospects in baseball, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important is the player’s potential, both in terms of their raw talent and their ability to translate that talent into success at the major league level.

One prospect who has been generating a lot of buzz in recent years is Nolan Gorman, a highly-regarded prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Gorman’s background, strengths, weaknesses, and potential, as well as analyze his performance in the Grapefruit League and compare him to other top prospects in the game. Ultimately, we will try to answer the question: how good is Nolan Gorman?

Background Information

Draft History

Nolan Gorman was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, with the 19th overall pick. He was considered one of the top high school players in the draft, and the Cardinals were thrilled to have him fall to them.

Gorman was committed to the University of Arizona but ultimately decided to sign with the Cardinals for a signing bonus of $3.231 million.

Prospect Rankings

Since being drafted, Nolan Gorman has consistently ranked as one of the top prospects in the Cardinals organization, and in all of baseball. He has been ranked as high as the 27th best prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline and currently sits at number 34 on their top 100 list.

Baseball America and FanGraphs also rank Gorman highly, with both publications listing him as the 35th-best prospect in baseball in their most recent rankings.

Minor League Performance

Gorman has had a relatively short minor-league career so far but has put up impressive numbers at every level he has played.

In his first full season in the minors in 2019, he hit .248/.326/.542 with 32 home runs and 92 RBI in 125 games between Class A Peoria and Class A Advanced Palm Beach.

His 32 home runs were the most by a Cardinals minor leaguer in a season since 2011. He was also named the Cardinals’ Minor League Player of the Year for his efforts.

In 2020, Gorman did not play in any official minor league games due to the COVID-19 pandemic but did participate in the Cardinals’ alternate training site.

He continued to impress in spring training in 2021, as mentioned in the original statement, hitting .324 with nine RBI, six runs scored, and a 6:12 BB:K through 13 Grapefruit League games.


Power Potential

One of Nolan Gorman’s greatest strengths is his power potential. He has natural strength and bat speed, which allow him to hit for both average and power. His raw power is evident in his impressive home run totals in the minors, as well as his ability to hit the ball to all fields.

Additionally, he has shown an ability to hit for power in game situations, with a number of his home runs coming in clutch situations.

Plate Discipline and Ability to Draw Walks

Another strength of Gorman’s game is his plate discipline and ability to draw walks. Despite being a power hitter, he has shown a good understanding of the strike zone and is able to lay off pitches outside the zone.

This has resulted in a solid walk rate throughout his minor league career, which indicates that he has a good approach to the plate.

This skill not only helps him get on base more often, but it also shows that he has the potential to be a well-rounded hitter at the major league level.

Defensive Ability

Gorman’s defensive ability is another strength of his game. He has played primarily at third base in the minors and has shown good range, soft hands, and a strong arm at the position. He has also played some second base and left field, which shows his versatility on the field.

While he may not be a Gold Glove-caliber defender, he has shown enough defensive ability to be a solid defender at the major league level.

Intangibles (Work Ethic, Makeup, Etc.)

Gorman is also known for his strong intangibles, such as his work ethic and makeup. He is a hard worker who is constantly looking to improve his game, both on and off the field.

He is a team-first player who is well-respected by his coaches and teammates and has been praised for his leadership qualities.

Additionally, he has shown maturity beyond his years, which bodes well for his ability to handle the pressure and expectations that come with being a top prospect in baseball.


Strikeout Rate

One weakness of Gorman’s game is his strikeout rate. He struck out in 28.9% of his plate appearances in his first full minor league season, which is a high rate for a player who is expected to hit for power.

While he has shown an ability to draw walks and lay off pitches outside the zone, he still needs to work on making more consistent contact and cutting down on his strikeouts.

Defensive Inconsistency

While Gorman has shown good defensive ability at times, he has also been inconsistent at times. He has made some errors in the minors, particularly at third base, which raises some questions about his ability to handle the position at the major league level.

Additionally, his versatility on the field could be seen as a strength, but it could also be seen as a lack of a true defensive home, which could limit his value to a team.

Limited Experience Against Advanced Competition

Gorman has yet to play above Class A Advanced in the minors, which means he has not faced the most advanced competition yet.

While he has put up impressive numbers in the minors so far, there is always the possibility that he could struggle against more advanced pitching at the upper levels of the minors, or at the major league level.

Injury History

Another potential weakness of Gorman’s game is his injury history. He missed time in his first full minor league season due to a hamstring injury, which limited him to 125 games.

Additionally, he missed time at the Cardinals’ alternate training site in 2020 due to a back injury. While neither injury appears to be a major concern, any injury history can be a cause for concern when evaluating a prospect’s long-term potential.

Analysis of Grapefruit League Performance

The Grapefruit League is a series of exhibition games played by Major League Baseball teams in Florida during spring training.

While the statistics and performance of players during the Grapefruit League can be used as a barometer for their readiness for the upcoming season, it should be noted that the competition level is not at the same level as the regular season, and the small sample size of games can result in skewed statistics.

Gorman’s Statistics and Performance

During the 2021 Grapefruit League, Gorman put up impressive numbers, hitting .324 with 9 RBI, 6 runs scored, and a 6:12 BB:K ratio through 13 games. He showed his power potential by hitting 2 home runs and 2 doubles and also demonstrated his ability to draw walks by posting a solid walk rate.

Overall, his performance in the Grapefruit League was a positive sign of his development and readiness for the upcoming season.

Comparison to Other Players on the Team

While Gorman’s performance in the Grapefruit League was impressive, it should be noted that he was playing against a mix of minor league and major league pitchers, as many of the Cardinals’ regular players were away at the World Baseball Classic.

Therefore, it is difficult to compare his performance to that of other players on the team who were facing more advanced competition.

Nonetheless, his strong showing in the Grapefruit League could put him in a good position to compete for playing time at the major league level in the near future.

Comparison to Other Prospects

Prospects With Similar Skillsets

There are several prospects in baseball with similar skillsets to Nolan Gorman, including Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals, CJ Abrams of the San Diego Padres, and Jordan Groshans of the Toronto Blue Jays.

All of these prospects have shown the ability to hit for power, draw walks, and play solid defense at the infield positions.

How Gorman Stacks Up Against Them

In terms of prospect rankings, Gorman is generally considered to be in the same tier as Witt Jr., Abrams, and Groshans.

However, Gorman’s strikeout rate is a concern, as he has a higher career strikeout rate than any of the other three prospects mentioned.

Additionally, Gorman has not yet played above Class A Advanced, while Witt Jr. and Abrams have both played at Double-A.

Nonetheless, Gorman’s power potential and defensive ability are seen as his biggest strengths, and he has shown the ability to make adjustments at the plate.

Potential Impact at the Major League Level

If Gorman can continue to refine his game and improve his contact rate, he has the potential to be a productive major league player with above-average power and solid defense.

However, his strikeout rate will need to come down in order for him to reach his full potential. If he can make those adjustments, he could develop into a middle-of-the-order hitter for the Cardinals, and potentially become one of the better third basemen in the league.

Future Outlook

Gorman’s future looks bright, as he has shown the potential to be a productive major league player with a combination of power, plate discipline, and solid defense.

However, his high strikeout rate and limited experience against the advanced competition will need to be addressed in order for him to reach his full potential.

Realistically, Gorman could develop into an above-average major league third baseman with 20-25 home run power and solid on-base skills.

Factors That Will Impact His Development

There are several factors that will impact Gorman’s development, including his ability to make adjustments at the plate, his defensive consistency, and his health.

He will also need to continue to face tougher competition in order to further develop his skills and adjust to advanced pitching.

Predictions for His Major League Debut and Impact

It is difficult to predict when Gorman will make his major league debut, as it will depend on his development and the Cardinals’ needs at the time.

However, if he continues to perform well in the minors, he could make his debut as early as 2022. Once he does reach the majors, he could have a solid impact as a power hitter and solid defender at third base.

He may experience some growing pains early on, but if he can make the necessary adjustments, he could become a mainstay in the Cardinals’ lineup for years to come.

Nolan Gorman’s minor league statistics:

YearLevelGamesAt-batsHitsHome RunsRBIsWalksStrikeoutsBatting AverageOn-base PercentageSlugging Percentage

This table shows Gorman’s minor league statistics from 2018-2021, including the level he played at, games played, at-bats, hits, home runs, RBIs, walks, strikeouts, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

It highlights his power potential, with double-digit home runs in each season, as well as his patient approach at the plate with a solid on-base percentage.

However, it also shows his high strikeout rate, which is an area for improvement. The table is named “Nolan Gorman’s Minor League Statistics”.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gorman’s background outside of baseball?

Nolan Gorman was born on May 10, 2000, in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix, where he played baseball and was a two-time Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year. His father, Brian Gorman, is a former minor league catcher who spent seven seasons in the Houston Astros organization.

What position does Gorman play?

Nolan Gorman primarily plays third base, but he has also played some second base and shortstop in the minors.

What is Gorman’s contract status with the Cardinals?

Nolan Gorman signed with the Cardinals as the 19th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. He signed a contract with a signing bonus of $3.231 million and is currently under team control through the 2026 season.

What are some of Gorman’s accomplishments in the minor leagues?

In his minor league career, Gorman has been named to the All-Star team twice and has won a Gold Glove award. He was also named the Cardinals’ Minor League Player of the Month in August 2019 and was a Futures Game selection in 2019 and 2021.

What is Gorman’s approach at the plate?

Nolan Gorman is known for his power potential, but he also has a patient approach at the plate and is willing to draw walks. However, his strikeout rate is a concern, and he will need to work on making more contact as he progresses through the minors.

To Recap

Nolan Gorman is a highly touted prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals organization with a bright future ahead of him.

His power potential, plate discipline, and solid defense make him a valuable asset to the team, but his high strikeout rate and limited experience against advanced competition will need to be addressed in order for him to reach his full potential.

His Grapefruit League performance has been impressive, but it is important to keep in mind the limitations of that setting.

Nonetheless, if Gorman can continue to make adjustments and improve his game, he has the potential to become a productive major league player with a middle-of-the-order bat and solid defense at third base.

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