O’Connor third baseman Nolan Gorman has long been a top prospect and one of the top names in this year’s MLB draft class.
The infielder has had a busy year, from the Perfect Game All-American Game, committing to the University of Arizona, winning a gold medal for Team USA and helping bringing O’Connor’s first state championship in the school’s history.
With the MLB Draft less than a week away, he could hear his name very early in the process, something he’s been working for for a long time.
“I don’t think anything happens if you don’t put the time in, you don’t work to prepare your craft” O’Connor coach Jeff Baumgartner said. “(Gorman) does that, and when he gets out there, he’s confident, he’s ready to go. He knows he put the time in, he knows he’s ready to go and get after it.”
This process has been 15 years in the making. As a (very) young child, Gorman, one of the top power hitting prospects in the country, said he was always called to the diamond.
“I was three years old and my dad said I always had a bat in my hand.”
With 32 career home runs and an Under Armour All-American Home Run Derby title under his belt, Gorman is one of the top power hitting prospects in the nation.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 29, 2017
But he wants to prove he isn’t just a thumper in the lineup. He has been working on his glove work as well and has former big leaguer Damion Easley helping him.
“Definitely a strength is power, my offensive ability is my strength,’ Gorman said. “Defensively, though, I’ve really turned a corner…just with my actions in the field. I’ve got a great coach here at O’Connor, Damion Easley, who helps me a ton with infield, footwork, glove, positioning, everything. So that’s really helped a lot too.”
Going through the high expectations and draft process can be difficult, but Gorman has someone in his corner who knows exactly what he is going through: Mountain Ridge pitcher Matthew Liberatore, who many believe is the top high school pitcher in this year’s draft class. Baumgartner calls Liberatore the best high school pitcher he has ever seen.
“We’re best friends, and we’ve been best friends since we were five and have played on the same teams ever since,” Gorman said. “Our parents are good friends too. They always hang out, we’re going out to eat, we’re always doing stuff together.
“Something we have is special and it really can’t be broken.”
Together, the two won a gold medal with the 18U Team USA national team in 2017.
“That was awesome,” Gorman said. “The best moment of my life. Being able to go there with Team USA, wear the USA across my chest and bring home a gold medal and go perfect the whole time there, it was so surreal that it kind of hit you but you didn’t realize what just happened.”
— Nolan Gorman (@NolanGorman) September 11, 2017
When the draft rolls around on Monday, there will be a lot of unknown factors at play, but Gorman has kept the same approach he takes when on the field.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” Gorman said. “You can’t control what’s going to happen on June 4th, you can’t control who picks you, you can’t control any of that. The only thing you can control is what you’re doing day-to-day to make yourself better and get where you want to be.”
On April 28th, MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo ranked Gorman as the #12 prospect in the MLB Draft. Matthew Liberatore is ranked fourth.