He took a couple of games to get going, but Nolan Gorman is officially rolling at the plate in the 2022 season.
After striking out looking in his first at-bat, Gorman blasted an 84-mph changeup off the upper-deck façade in right at Truist Field to score the Redbirds’ first run of the game. It was the first homer the Cardinals’ No. 2 prospect has pulled to right this season.
Charlotte scored on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the inning and the game stayed tied until Juan Yepez came to the plate to lead off the sixth. The Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect crushed a low fastball to dead center, giving him three homers in his past two games.
Again, the Knights responded in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game on a Ryder Jones RBI single. Charlotte took the lead in the eighth on White Sox No. 8 prospect Romy Gonzalez’s RBI double and held on for the win.
Gorman set career highs in hits (134), runs scored (71), home runs (25) and RBIs (75) last season but got off to a slow start in 2022, both in Spring Training and in his first three games. The 21-year-old went 2-for-16 with seven strikeouts in six spring games, then went 0-for-9 with five K’s in his first three regular-season games.
He got his hitting started on April 8 with two singles against Gwinnett and hit two solo homers in his next game, recording his ninth career multi-homer game.
In Memphis’ first game against Charlotte on April 12, Gorman went 1-for-3 with a single and followed that with a career-high five hits in the Redbirds’ extra-inning 18-14 win on April 13, launching his third home run of the year.
On the year, Gorman is sporting a .367/.424/.767 slash line with a 1.191 OPS and he still has room to improve offensively. He’s struck out 13 times in 33 plate appearances for a 39.4 K rate but struck out in just 22% of his plate appearances last season. If he can regain that contact-oriented approach this year, he may make his MLB debut in the coming months.
When the Cardinals traded for Nolan Arenado prior to the 2021 season, questions arose about Gorman’s future spot in St. Louis’ lineup. They were answered when he transitioned to second base, appearing in 77 games at the position last year. Gorman has played all his innings in the field at second so far this season.
“I just go about my game the same way that I always do. At third base, you’re supposed to be a big power hitter but if I can carry that over to second base it’s just more power to me,” Gorman told MLB.com this spring. “The biggest thing is just continuing to have fun with this game. I wake up every morning and enjoy what I do.”