Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com thinks Cardinals' Nolan Gorman will break out in a big way
The St. Louis Cardinals have a lot of different players that could take a step forward in their development during the 2023 season. According to Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com, second baseman Nolan Gorman has a chance to break out in a big way.
Gorman, who is just 22 years old, was one of the most exciting players in the Cardinals organization this time last year. He had a scorching hot start to the Triple-A season that year, and upon his big league call-up, he was an impactful hitter for a lot of the summer before dealing with struggles that sent him back to Memphis. Many have cooled in their excitement around him, but Harrigan points out some significant statistics that point to future success for Gorman.
"Though the 22-year-old has a lot of swing and miss in his game, he showed a real aptitude for squaring up the baseball when he made contact last season. Gorman had a 46.7% sweet-spot rate, a metric that represents how often a player hits a ball in the launch-angle sweet-spot zone from 8 to 32 degrees. That was the highest among MLB players with at least 150 batted balls. He also had a near-elite 14.4% barrel rate -- the percentage of batted balls with an optimal combination of exit velocity and launch angle, typically resulting in homers and extra-base hits. Now that he has some experience against big league pitching under his belt, he could trim his strikeout rate (32.9% in 2022) enough to give his impressive raw power a real chance to shine."- Thomas Harrigan, MLB.com
Obviously, for Gorman to realize his potential, he is going to have to cut down on his strikeout rate. But seriously, the guy is 22 and has had 313 PA to this point in his major league career. It is far too early to give up on a player as talented as Gorman, and I am excited to see if his bat translates this year like Harrigan is expecting it to. According to manager Oli Marmol, Gorman has shown up in a big way so far.
Gorman will likely get a shot to be the primary DH against right-handed pitching as well as plenty of opportunities at second base during the season. If his bat begins to make more contact and he continues to do the kind of damage he does, the club will be forced to play him as often as possible.