MLB Draft: Sandra Day O'Connor (Phoenix) slugger Nolan Gorman drafted by St. Louis Cardinals

Photo: Billy Hardiman, Special to The Arizona Republic

MLB Draft: Sandra Day O'Connor (Phoenix) slugger Nolan Gorman drafted by St. Louis Cardinals


MLB Draft: Sandra Day O'Connor (Phoenix) slugger Nolan Gorman drafted by St. Louis Cardinals


Nolan Gorman was named for Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.

Monday night, the Sandra Day O’Connor (Phoenix) senior third baseman achieved something his famous namesake did not – being selected in the first round of the MLB Amateur Draft.

Gorman, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound phenom, was selected 19th in the first round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Gorman is committed to the University of Arizona, as is his good friend and fellow first-round phenom Matthew Liberatore of Glendale’s Mountain Ridge.

“The draft is so crazy,” Gorman told the Arizona Republic’s Richard Obert. “You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The pay slots go from $8.1 million for the No. 1 pick to $2.3 million for the No. 30 pick, so chances of seeing the pair in Wildcats uniforms may be slim.

Wherever Gorman goes, expect the left-handed hitting slugger to smack some baseballs over some fences.

“Nolan Gorman is an analytical poster boy,” Sandra Day O’Connor coach Jeff Baumgartner told Obert. “All the things they are looking for nowadays in baseball, with launch angle and exit velocity, is right up his alley.”

Gorman won the 2017 MLB High School Home Run Derby during last July’s All-Star festivities in Miami.

“He has offensive tools that separate him from all the other high school players in the nation,” Baumgartner said. “His light-tower power is on display in every batting practice and home run derby he takes part in. And his knowledge of his strike zone will help to swiftly move him up the ranks.”

As a senior, Gorman hit .421 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI in leading the Eagles to the Class 6A state championship. He likely would have mashed even more homers, if not for being walked 46 times.

“I think he proved it over the summer, playing the best competition,” Rob Gorrell, his coach with the AZ Sandlot Elite summer baseball team, recently told the Republic. “With his bat speed, once he gets to minor league baseball, he’ll be fine. Right now, guys are throwing him breaking balls on a 3-0 count.”

Nolan Gorman (27) celebrates with his West teammates at home plate after hitting a two-run home run against the East Team during the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic at San Diego’s PETCO Park. (Photo: Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports)


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