It’s the minors’ first comeback trip for Gorman, who entered the season ranked among the sport’s top 50 potential teams for the 2022 season. Gorman captivated card fans with a Hercules race through Triple-A before his initial promotion, earning a 308/.367/.677 clip and package 15 home runs in only 147 billboard appearances. Upon his initial promotion, he made the big noise that surrounded his racket, hitting three eyebrows in his first 11 matches and carrying an OPS north of 1.100 in the time. Gorman cooled but was solid during the All-Star break.
It was a struggle for the 22-year-old as the season came to an end. It’s only made .207/.273/.388 in the second half—including .150/.227/.250 with a 39.4% write-off rate over the past month. Gorman has always been considered a potential first man, and it is worth noting that he moved from third base to second base once the Cardinals got Nolan Arenado, so Gorman’s current position is still relatively new to him. However, both the saved defensive flows (-5) and above-average exits (-11) were less in his work during the first 549 rounds of his career there.
Some early difficulties in the 22-year-old’s career are no big surprise, and Gorman remains a key part of the Cardinals’ future forward. At the moment, he will be on Triple-A for at least 10 days, where he can only return sooner if he replaces an injured player. From a service time standpoint, Gorman wouldn’t finish the current season with a full year (nor would he be even if he stayed on the roster until the end of the season). He’ll still be controllable at least into the 2028 season, although with 122 days of service under his belt, he could end up reaching arbitration a year early as a Super Two player, if he gets his full years of service time in 2023-24. The most pressing question in the short term is simply the question of whether he will return this season and whether he will be part of the team’s post-season roster.
With Gorman excluded, second base seems likely to belong Brendan Donovan in this time. Rookie himself, 25-year-old Donovan never generated the same potential fanfare as Gorman, but nonetheless turned to the powerful .282/.391/.373 hitting streak through 418 games to start his big league career. Donovan doesn’t have anywhere near the same level of power (or a lot of power at all), but he walked in an impressive 12.4% clip while showing good ball-playing skills and proving to be a punchline (15.6%).
In the long run, Donovan is the ultimate in a Swiss Army Knife that can play almost any position at a capable level. He’s already clocked in all four areas of the court and in each of the court’s corners this year, drawing particularly strong marks in small samples in the hot corner. Like Gorman, he can control six more seasons, as he will finish the 2022 campaign after roughly a week of a full year of service time. That would make him a fantastic Slam player, barring future optional assignments, which would put him on the refereeing path after the 2024 season.