Stat #2 - .981 OPS
As the season got closer and closer, there was buzz that Nolan Gorman could be a breakout bat for the Cardinals, but nobody could have expected the season he is having so far.
Gorman has a .981 OPS in 47 games this year, good for fourth in all of baseball. He is hitting the ball often, and when he does, it goes very far. When he is not getting good pitches to hit, he's grinding out at-bats and getting on base via free passes. Gorman has now put himself into the middle of the Cardinals' order, giving them a trio of hitters with Goldschmidt and Arenado that are almost impossible to stop.
The way that Gorman has transformed the Cardinals lineup this year feels a lot like what it did for the 2021 Cardinals when Tyler O'Neill put everything together that season. For stretches, they had three MVP level bats in their order, which propelled them to win often despite their terrible pitching. The Cardinals now have a trio like that once again, and their newly developed lineup depth means that the damage goes beyond just those three.
But there is more to this conversation as well. The Cardinals have lacked a left-handed bat that could do damage like that since the years that Matt Carpenter was in MVP conversations. Adding Gorman's bat with the right-handed slugging of Goldschmidt and Arenado gives this lineup more ways to beat different kinds of pitchers. There are few things more valuable than left-handed power bats, if any.
Second, Gorman is doing this in clutch moments for the Cardinals as well. He is currently fifth in all of baseball in RBI this year, and he is having his best moments in the late innings of games when the Cardinals need to tie the game or drive in the go-ahead run.
Gorman is legit, and it's transforming this lineup into something special.