Gorman sparks Chiefs to twinbill sweep

Cards No. 3 prospect homers twice, then lays down key bunt

Nolan Gorman has hit 17 homers in 206 at-bats since the Cardinals drafted him 19th overall in June. (Paul R. Gierhart/MiLB.com)

By Vincent Lara-Cinisomo / MiLB.com | August 24, 2018 11:59 PM

Nolan Gorman's power surge has been so powerful, he's bent time.

The Cardinals' third-ranked prospect homered twice in the first game of Friday's doubleheader, then laid down a key bunt in the nightcap as Class A Peoria Chiefs swept a pair from Beloit at Dozer Park.

Video: Chiefs' Gorman rips second homer

The blasts gave Gorman six long balls since his promotion from Rookie-level Johnson City, but since the opener was the completion of a game suspended on July 1 -- before he joined the Chiefs -- they actually counted as his first and second Midwest League homers, although they followed his first four homers at the level.

The game was halted nearly two months ago due to rain in Beloit but resumed at Dozer Park in the bottom of the second inning. Peoria built a 5-0 lead in Wisconsin and added to it in the fourth against Jhenderson Hurtado.

Andres Luna led off with a single to right field and stole second. After Nick Dunn drew a one-out walk, Gorman clobbered a three-run homer over the right field wall with an exit velocity of 107 mph.


Game 1 box score


Gorman did it again in the sixth, launching an opposite field blast to complete the scoring in a 10-0 romp.

The Phoenix prep star has 17 homers in 206 at-bats since the Cardinals drafted him 19th overall in June.

"He's one of the most mature 18-year-olds I've coached," Chiefs manager Chris Swauger said in explaining Gorman's success. "He has struggled a little bit, but he's done a good job of processing what guys are trying to teach him. And the power, I think, comes from a really good swing. The ball flies, but with him it's more about how he learns. He's shown himself to be an 18-year-old [in terms of struggling], but his ability to process information and bounce back is what separates him."

Johan Oviedo (10-9) earned the win by throwing 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out five.

With the Chiefs trailing, 1-0, in Game 2, Dennis Ortega homered in the second to tie it and Peoria moved ahead in the sixth, again with Gorman playing a key role.

Video: Chiefs' Gorman lays down bunt single

Wood Myers hit a leadoff single and Gorman, who scouts said had perhaps the most raw power of any player in the 2018 Draft class, laid down a bunt for a hit. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position before supplemental second-round pick Luken Baker singled through the middle to make it 3-1, which was the final score.

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Swauger has not been surprised by Gorman's ability to adapt and adjust.

"It's his natural personality," the skipper said. "He doesn't get too high or too low. His professionalism and business-like attitude translates into the game. He does a good job of continuing to play and he's aware of how players are reacting to him. That's one of his six tools, that intangible quality."

Reliever Robbie Gordon (2-1) earned the win, allowing two hits and striking out three over three scoreless innings.

Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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