Cards' Gorman goes deep for 7th time in 7 games
The sun rises, water is wet and Nolan Gorman went deep ... again.
Playing the part of a maxed-out video game version of himself, baseball's No. 32 overall prospect went deep for the fifth consecutive game and for the seventh time in his last seven games. The solo blast proved to be the game-winner in Triple-A Memphis' 2-1 win over visiting Omaha.
Gorman's seven home runs are second in the Minors, one behind Reno's Matt Davidson.
But even in the midst of such an eye-opening stretch, the 21-year-old is staying grounded.
"I'm not up there thinking about [the home runs]," Gorman said. "You do have to put blinders on, in a way, but I'm just out there trying to improve and with that, the results will take care of themselves. It's been a good stretch ... a fun stretch."
Having struck out in each of his first two plate appearances, the 2018 first-round Draft pick unloaded on a 2-1 pitch that cleared the right-field fence. His chance for a second multihomer game of the early campaign ended with a strikeout in his final at-bat in the eighth.
"I wasn't looking to hit a homer there," Gorman explained. "It's a tie ballgame and a little later [in the game]. We needed a baserunner to hopefully have someone get over and get in. I was fortunate enough to get a pitch where I was looking and I put a good swing on it."
Gorman followed up a 2-for-16, seven-strikeout Spring Training slate with five strikeouts in nine hitless at-bats to begin the regular season. Since then, he has gone 14-for-32 (.438) with seven solo homers. Overall, Gorman is batting .341/.400/.854. His home runs account for all of his extra-base hits and RBIs.
He never let the slow spring and start affect his mindset or routine.
"I trust myself and I wasn't about to change anything just because the results weren't there early," Gorman said. "It was all about swinging at better pitches and being on time, particularly with the fastball. That's the biggest thing for me at the plate. When I'm on time, the results are there and that has been the case for me this last week or so."
The Phoenix, Ariz., native set career highs in a number of offensive categories in 2021, including hits (134), runs scored (71), home runs (25) and RBIs (75) with Double-A Springfield and Memphis. Prior to his current streak, Gorman went deep in a career-high three games in 2019 and homered in consecutive contests four different times last year.
Even just 11 games into 2022, Gorman is no longer knocking on the door to the Majors, he's pounding on it. Just don't expect him to give it much thought.
"There isn't anything in my head about the Majors right now," Gorman said. "It's out of my control and I need to be where my feet are. Right now, that is helping the Redbirds win games. I'm just taking it day by day. That usaully works out well for me."
Cardinals' No. 14 prospect Angel Rondón and Jake Walsh (No. 30) combined for two scoreless innings of relief. Walsh tallied his third save with a perfect ninth, including a strikeout of MJ Melendez, baseball's No. 50 overall prospect.
Jon Heasley allowed a run on three hits and a walk with five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. The No. 9 Royals prospect has a 1.54 ERA through three starts.