5 bold predictions for the St. Louis Cardinals this Spring Training

Here's five bold predictions for the Cardinals in 2024.

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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Nolan Gorman hits 35+ home runs

It's a bit strange to call this a bold prediction since Gorman had 35 homer potential last season, but he still hasn't shown his full potential in a 162-game season yet. His abysmal June last season in which he posted a 22 wRC+ and back injuries that sidelined him for the end of the season left him with only 27 home runs in his 119 games played.

However, if we extrapolate his power numbers out through the end of the season, a healthy Nolan Gorman easily has the potential to push 40 homers in a solid season. Barring another stretch in which he plays worse than Taylor Motter, Gorman will only begin to tap into his prodigious upside as a left-handed power-hitting second baseman.

He's extremely streaky, but when Gorman is hot he's one of the best hitters in all of baseball, recording an OPS over .900 in May, July, and September. The Cardinals may have found themselves their much-needed left-handed power bat at a notoriously power-starved position. If he's healthy and right for 2024, Gorman could find himself in the same discussion as Marcus Semien, Jose Altuve, and Ozzie Albies as the power-hitting second basemen in all of baseball.

ZiPS and other projection systems may not expect Gorman to finish with even 30 home runs, but Gorman has shown enough potential in 2023 for me to be confident that he will exceed that number. It's hard to believe his streakiness could lead to as bad a stretch as he had in June 2023, and while the injury concerns with his back are legitimate, I believe Gorman will truly find his power breakout in 2024.