The St. Louis Cardinals, armed with three selections during the first night of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, selected third baseman Nolan Gorman out of Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix, Ariz., with the 19thoverall pick in the opening round.
“We’re very excited for the opportunity to draft Nolan Gorman,” stated St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “You’re always looking for opportunities at every draft, and picking at No. 19, we weren’t sure what that would bring tonight. Gorman has a different profile than what we have picked before, and we’re excited to draft this kind of player into our system.”
Gorman, 18, stands 6-1, 210 pounds and hails from Phoenix, Ariz. The left handed-hitting third baseman batted .419 (116-for-277) with 32 home runs, 118 RBI and 115 runs scored in his high school career. As a senior, he helped lead the Eagles to their first 6A State Championship, hitting .421 with 10 home runs, 46 walks, a .640 on-base percentage and .896 slugging percentage in 32 games.
“We were thrilled to take Nolan,” stated St. Louis Cardinals Scouting Director Randy Flores. “The way the board worked out, you can’t believe a left-handed hitter as young as he is, who has performed with power on the biggest stage, was available to us.”
Gorman was showcased on all-star teams and for USA Baseball last summer, and won multiple home run derbies, including the 2017 MLB High School Home Run Derby during All-Star Week in Miami. He also took part in home run hitting contests at Wrigley Field and Petco Park.
Gorman is good friends with left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 16th overall selection earlier in the night. Both players committed to the University of Arizona.
Gorman is the highest selection for the Cardinals since 2013 when they took left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales from Gonzaga University with the 19th overall pick.
The Cardinals have selected 32 pitchers, 3 catchers, 18 infielders and 9 outfielders with their first round selections during the draft’s 53-year history. The team’s highest overall selection was pitcher Braden Looper (3rd pick overall) in 1996. The Cardinals have had only 11 top-10 selections, the last being outfielder J.D. Drew (5th overall) in 1998.