Although the Cardinals are developing Nolan Gorman for the future, it’s a process that can’t be rushed — the farm system can’t solve their problems yet.
Nolan Gorman might be “the Cardinals’ most important prospect”, writes SB Nation’s Blake Newberry.
Newberry is right: while other young prospects are developing well in the minor leagues, Gorman is a strong candidate to eventually strengthen the Cardinal’s greatest area of weakness, the middle infield.
However, Gorman isn’t ready to take the leap to the big leagues, still needing time to hone his skills and enter when he is ready. But the Cardinals lack strength in that area now, presenting a challenging conundrum for a team that might have the perfect player who isn’t ready.
Cardinals cannot rely on the farm system to fix their current issues at middle infield
While it’s difficult to determine how good Gorman is at his current level without tracking his defensive statistics, there is one evaluation that lends credibility to assumptions of his potential: the endorsement of Jose Oquendo.
In November, Oquendo told Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak how Gorman’s development was coming along.
“He’ll be an above-average defensive second baseman,” Oquendo said.
“That was really encouraging to hear from someone who’s a really tough grader on infielders,” Mozeliak added.
While this is promising news for the Cardinals’ future, the farm system isn’t yet ready to address their infield issues.
For now, Tommy Edman is the team’s second baseman, while Paul DeJong and Edmundo Sosa have been rotating at shortstop, and it seems that this will continue to be the case into 2022.
The Cardinals missed on Corey Seager, but they still could sign Trevor Story whenever the MLB lockout ends. However, at second base, they may just have to wait until Gorman is ready to make the jump.