Denver-In the third game of Sunday’s futures game, Nolan Gorman’s double play in the right corner is just one of the reasons why the Cardinals are very excited about their strong infield prospects.
The court is a 98 mph fastball, moved by Red Sox forward Brayan Bello, perfectly positioned in the hard-to-reach position at the bottom inner corner of the strike zone. Gorman skipped it like cutting a meatball in the middle instead of the black 98.
“In terms of batting technique, he is a beast,” Frank Neville said after watching Gorman’s batting practice presentation that morning, and he has been scouting and ranking prospects for Sports News for several years.
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Gorman hit 11 homers in 43 games in Double A Springfield at the beginning of the season, and then the Cardinals knocked him into Memphis’ top three. Batting ability is well-known, but his glove work can determine how quickly he enters the majors.
Gorman was selected as the third baseman, and this is where the Cardinals think he is suitable for their future. But, as you know, this offseason they traded perennial All-Star and Golden Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado. Gorman not only lost his future position in the major league clubs, but he is no longer even the most eye-catching Nolan in the organization.
Gorman was not discouraged and began to learn a new position-second base.
In a telephone interview with Sports News last week, Gorman said: “The best thing I did for my development at second base was to participate in spring training about a week and a half in advance. ·Ocundo works together.”. “Paul De Jong is there, and Goldie (Paul Goldschmidt) is also there. Arenado is also there. Just one step ahead in this area, to be able to be with those people Working in one place is really important to me.”
Switching positions is not a new idea for Gorman. He was chosen as the third baseman, but like most elite athletes, he played many shortstops as he grew up. He will play third place for his high school team and shortstop in the summer. He played second base when he was a kid. He even participated in the field, when most of the children on his team were a few years older than him. They want him because he can hit the ball, but the older infielder must maintain a defensive position.
So yes, finding new positions is not a new concept. Nevertheless, it is still a challenge.
“I enjoy it, I enjoy it. It’s definitely different,” Gorman said. “You participate in a lot more games, so you have to know where you need to be in certain games. It’s fun. Two-player matches, rotations with other infielders, runners steals, making tags… everything is fun. . You have more time to catch the ball in the middle, so I’m chasing the ball, diving…stop, then stand up and throw the ball. It’s so cool.”
Playing on the left side of the infield, in the third or shortstop, for right-handed throwers, most of each pitch is accompanied by natural power flow. This is why you will never see a left-handed pitcher in these positions (maybe outside of minor league or beer league softball). But in the second one, on the right side of the infield, it switches dynamically. Suddenly, you are turning your body to pass the ball to second base in any way possible. That is a completely different footwork, a completely different throwing action. This is a new challenge.
When it comes to defensive adjustments with Gorman, one word keeps appearing: representative. Hundreds of representatives, in spring training and now.
“I think the way we worked with Oquendo and Stubby (Clapp) during the major league training camp helped a lot. I received a lot of representatives there,” Gorman said. “One day ago, for early work during spring training, I always got my representatives there, whether it was a two-player offense or catching the ball at second base for a two-player offense. I did this hundreds of times as a representative. It made me very comfortable. At the end of the major league training camp, I thought Okundo would say the same thing, and we felt I was ready to play second base in the live game. I finally did this in spring training, this very funny.”
The Cardinals did not specifically transfer him to second base. At least not yet. In Springfield, he started 16 games in the second game and 23 games in the third game. In Memphis, second place is five points and third place is four points. In the futures game, he is the starting third baseman.
“The first game I returned there after playing several games in a row, my first few warm-up matches pitched a bit short, I thought,’Man, this is longer than I remembered,'” he said with a smile .
For those who know Gorman, it is no surprise that he reports early in spring training to start learning his new position. Early is his business. When the Cardinals selected him with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, he became the first player born in the 2000s (May 10, 2000) to be selected.
Going a little further, getting up early to exercise with friend Matthew Liberatore from the suburbs of Phoenix is not enough, so the two decided to start earlier.
“When we are 12 or 13 years old, we wake up when the sun rises and exercise at 6:30,” Gorman said. “We will ride our bikes from his house when the sun just rises.”
Of course, Liberatore is also a potential customer for the Cardinals. He is the starting pitcher of the NL team Futures Game, so of course I have to ask him about these bike rides.
We are all perfectionists in our development and mastery of the art we do,” Liberatore said. “We are always looking for ways to get better, and this ride is the icing on the cake for our morning exercises. What can we do to further develop? We all have parents who are willing to drive to and from wherever we want to go, but we just take care of it ourselves. ”
Liberatore is about 6 months older than Gorman, was selected by the light in the 2018 draft, and is three positions ahead of his friends. The Cardinals traded Randy Arosarena to Tampa Bay. It is appropriate that they can continue to develop together.
“There are many such things,” Gorman said. “From a very young age, we will continue to push each other to get better in any way possible.”