Minor League Profile: Nolan Gorman

Nolan Gorman
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 210 lbs
School: Sandra Day O’Connor HS (Phoenix, AZ)
Drafted: 2018 – Round 1, 19 Overall

Stat Line (thru 4/10)

2018Johnson City38143415011282437.350/.443/.664

Pre-Draft: Before the draft, Gorman was considered one of the elite prep hitting prospects available. He was coming off Home Run Derby wins in both the Under Armor All-American Game and the MLB High School Game. The power was the main tool he showed. He’s also projected to strike out often, as there are holes in his swing. There were questions around his defense at third; his arm is just average and his big body adds questions to his potential range. He was considered a top 10 talent that dropped to the Cardinals at 19; his commitment to the University of Arizona scared some teams away, along with the potential move to first base.

Gorman, courtesy of Baseball America

Offense: The power is legit; I’ve seen everything from 60 to 80 on the scouting scale for his power. He’s got a good swing and can handle velocity very well because of his plus bat speed. The questions around his eye are still valid, although they haven’t been present yet in his short career; the pitchers he’s facing haven’t gotten to advancing their off-speed stuff and his pitch recognition is a knock against him. The true test will be when he gets to Double A, where the pitching takes a huge step forward. His speed is also below average, so he won’t be a base stealer or the guy that can stretch an extra base.

To succeed, he’ll need to work on taking the walk. He’s not a guy projected to hit for average due to the holes in his swing. He looks like a potential three true outcomes type of player at this point.

Defense: Gorman has an average arm for third base with limited range, much like current third baseman Matt Carpenter. His below average speed means that he’s likely to not get better in the range department. There have been some questions around his instincts at the position too; at times, he looks like he’s one of the best players at the hot corner, while other days he looks lost. I’d say it’s 50/50 if he’ll stay at the position.

Results: Gorman has moved quicker than some had predicted; he killed Appalachian League pitching in his first taste of professional ball and was moved up to Low A after 38 games. He struggled in his short time in Peoria, but some questioned the aggressive promotion. He saw more game time than expected in Spring Training, and held his own as a 19 year old against upper minors talent.

Projection: Gorman has shown he might be a little more advanced than initially thought. The power is legit, there is no doubt there. He appears to be capable to handle third for now, which really boosts his stock. With the depth the Cardinals have there, a move to first could still be possible.

I think the high end comp right now for Gorman is Joey Gallo; both are big players who have plus power with holes in their swings. Gallo is questionable at third, but is able to play the outfield, which I don’t think Gorman could do. Mid-range comp would be Miguel Sano, a guy with promise, but fails to tap into it right away; the jury is still out as to what Sano can do. Bottom range comp is Pedro Alvarez; the power was there, but the total lack of defense and hitting has led to many minor league deals and not steady MLB time.

Gorman Video:

MLB Draft Pick: Nolan Gorman
Nolan Gorman 3/14/18
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