3 ways Nolan Gorman emerging as the Cardinals' third bat transforms their lineup
By Josh Jacobs
Nolan Gorman is hitting like one of the best sluggers in baseball
This may seem like an obvious point, and the next two will get into some more nuances that also take this lineup to the next level, but the fact that the Cardinals' third bat is slugging like an All-Star means good things for this lineup.
Credit to @CardinalsReek on Twitter, as he pointed out that Gorman ranks second in the National League among qualified (which includes 98 players) in wOBA (.484), wRC+ (201), OPS (1.186), fourth in WAR (0.6), eleventh in EV (93.5) and thirteenth in BB% (17.9%).
Translation: Gorman is one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball to begin this year.
This isn't shocking to those who followed Gorman's offseason and Spring Training. Gorman worked extremely hard this offseason to improve on his weaknesses at the plate and be able to let his tools shine through more. He was one of, if not the most impressive, Cardinal throughout all of Spring Training and seemed primed for a breakout this season.
People seemed to be quick to give up on Gorman after he didn't set the world on fire during his rookie campaign. He still hit 14 home runs in 89 games and had a .721 OPS, but his strikeouts seemed to overshadow any production.
This season, Gorman has cut down his strikeout rate significantly and grown his walk rate in a big way. When pitchers do give him something in the zone, he's been doing damage with it time and time again. Gorman is already looking like the kind of guy scouts and fans were dreaming he could be at the plate.
On top of just how good his bat has been to this point, there are two important qualities about Gorman that help this team even more in unique ways.