As part of the ongoing lockout, MLB staff are not allowed to discuss any of the locked out players with the media. However, this doesn’t include players that aren’t on a 40-man roster, leaving front office members free to discuss prospects that have yet to earn a roster spot. As such, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak provided some comments to John Denton of MLB.com about Nolan Gorman, Masyn Winn and Jordan Walker. (Twitter links 1, 2 and 3.)
On Gorman, Mozeliak had this to say: “Very impressive. His development & how he’s growing & creating more value for himself by playing multiple positions it’s a positive. From an offensive standpoint we’re all excited to see what he’s capable of doing.” Gorman had an excellent year at the plate in 2021, playing 119 games between Double-A and Triple-A, hitting a combined .279/.333/.481, wRC+ of 115. The 21-year-old is now considered among the top 60 prospects in the game by each of Baseball America, FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline. As Mozeliak points out, Gorman also expanded his positional versatility last year. Prior to 2021, he had only played third base in the Cardinals’ system, but he played 77 games at second base last year, compared with 32 at the hot corner. Of course, the club already has an excellent third baseman in Nolan Arenado, who is under contract through 2027. (He can opt out of his contract after this year but, based on the fact that he just declined an opt out last year, it seems unlikely he would do so.) Second base, however, seems likely to be manned by Tommy Edman this year, though he could be bumped into a super-utility role if Gorman were able to force his way into the picture.
As for Winn, Mozeliak tells Denton that the youngster will be focused exclusively on playing shortstop this spring. The Cardinals drafted Winn as a two-way player in 2020 and he plied both aspects of his trade last year. However, he only logged a single appearance on the hill, throwing one inning. As for the other part of his game, he made 438 plate appearances between A-ball and High-A, hitting .242/.324/.356. It seems his pitching aspirations will be taking a backseat for now, though it’s always possible he could return to the mound in the future.
When asked about Jordan Walker’s future positions, Mozeliak said, “He’s gonna get work at places, but he’s such a good athlete I don’t think that’s a panic moment for us. … As (most) have heard me say before, if you hit, we will find you a place to play.” Walker certainly did hit in 2021, his first year of game action in the professional ranks. Between A-ball and High-A, he made 366 plate appearances and hit .317/.388/.548, wRC+ 151. On the defensive side of things, Walker only played third base last year. But given the presence of Arenado, it makes sense to give him an opportunity to try to find another home, just like Gorman.
hmm, idve gone the other way on Winn
I like Gorman and walker a lot, but if arenado is locked in at 3B and these guys can’t find a positional home, it might be best to trade one of them for a position of need. I’d love to see Gorman be an everyday 2B and walker an everyday RF though. These guys are going to hit.
Imagine if the Cardinals traded Albert Pujols for Carlos Hernadez in 2000? That’s what would happen if they trade Jordan Walker. No way, absolutely not. Gorman maybe, Wynn could be dealt, but Walker is someone you’d have to be crazy or high to trade for anybody
i’d like to see the owners tell the players we are starting the season with minor leaguers
Then they could pass the savings on to the working class people who try to get their family over to the park as much as they can, but are paying $50 to park the car and $9 for a beverage so these guys can get more.
And play games to 1,000 people in the stands.
I’d like to see more commenters here tell “notnamed” how wrong he is.
Not too excited about Winn, A-ball and High-A, hitting .242/.324/.356. I agree with Darkside, he should probably go back to the mound.
Jordan Walker is too deep in the minors to even think about.
Nolan Gorman will be a solid backup.
Nice article. I thank Mozeliak for his valueless insight. I’m surprised he is talking about his discount rack players they have signed this winter. That is his usual forte.
So youve seen these guys play in person? On what are you passing your assesment? Stats?
He has no idea what he’s talking about. The number one and two 3B prospects in baseball and they are simply backups.
Totally clueless JerryBird. So you are done with Wynn at SS after he finishes his first year of organized baseball at high A at age 19? Hit .240 with 35sb/5cs and had a good k/bb rate for a kid just now focusing on hitting. And of course you throw in the obligatory diss to Mozeliak. Keep your complaints coming, they might just hire back Whitey Herzog like in your dreams.
The MLB Pipeline rankings are half a year old. Use 2022 rankings.