2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Nolan Gorman

by Josh Stevens
2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Nolan Gorman

Remember the days when middle infielders were supposed to provide their value with the glove? It wasn't too long ago that very few middle infielders were among the top hitters in the league, with even fewer hitting for any sort of power.  The script is completely flipped now, with huge contracts given to Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Trea Turner. Francisco Lindor, and most recently Carlos Correa. These are all middle infielders who can rake, just like the next 2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Nolan Gorman.

All of the middle infielders who are in the above-mentioned list are shortstops. While the hitting on middle infielders has certainly come around, second base still lacks hitting depth. Jose Altuve is always very solid, and you should already know about Trevor Story. Ozzie Albies, Marcus Semien, and Jazz Chisolm are fine options. Maybe your league still allows you to play Mookie Betts at second. However, fantasy baseball is devoid of both youth and power.

Enter 22-year-old Nolan Gorman. Making the switch from a corner infielder to a second baseman before the start of last year really increases his fantasy value. While third base is extremely crowded this year, boasting fantasy superstars like Nolan Arenado, Jose Ramirez, Manny Machado, Rafael Devers and Austin Riley, second base is not as much of a power position. Enter Gorman, who belted 73 homers in just 350 minor league games, a 162-game pace of 34 bombs.

However, this power doesn't mean anything if not translated over to the big league level. While we only saw Gorman play in 89 big league games as a rookie last year, he was able to hit 14 homers out of the second base slot.

2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Nolan Gorman

What makes Gorman so tantalizing is his age. At only 22, Gorman still has time to work on his flaws, which include batting average and strikeouts. While young players are prone, to striking out, Gorman's 103 K's in 89 games should be at least a little alarming for fantasy managers. Additionally, his .226 average is something you'd like to see improve for a middle infielder, but the power makes up for the strikeouts and low average.

While Gorman was very streaky last year, his absolutely torrid start showed what he is capable of. May saw Gorman at his best, as he hit .387 with a pair of homers in 32 at-bats, good for a 1.150 OPS. He never reached that level in any other month, but was still consistent enough to get the start against most righties by the end of the year.

Gorman's biggest obstacle to success is consistent playing time. 2022 ROTY finalist Brendan Donovan is still lurking in St. Louis Like Gorman, Donovan is a second baseman and enjoyed a successful rookie campaign. Down the stretch of the season, Donovan was getting a majority of the starts at second, with Gorman either DHing or playing second against righties.

While Donovan taking playing time away from Gorman may be bad for his overall growth, it's not the worst thing in the world for fantasy baseball. Since Gorman is new to second base, Donovan will most likely start at second, while Gorman will be the usual DH. Since he is still young with room to grow on defense, Gorman will play enough at second to keep his second-base eligibility on almost every platform. Being penciled in at DH could help Gorman's offensive numbers, as hitting will be all he has to focus on. This further raises Gorman's power potential.

Who Will You Have to Trade for Gorman?

While I went for a bigger name or two in my earlier installments of trade targets, the aim of my last few has been to focus on low-risk guys with breakout potential. With only half of a year under Gorman's belt, he may even be available on waivers in smaller leagues.

However, Gorman will most likely be found stashed on the bench in many leagues for the time being. Due to this, you won't have to trade any big pieces to acquire your second baseman of the future. A middling arm and a smaller prospect may be all that's needed to bring Gorman your way.

Final Thoughts

Gorman has only played 90 games, so it's tough to get a read on how good he'll be for next year. However, 30 homers are not entirely out of the question. Gorman belted 14 in just 89 games and has the added bonus of being on an MLB roster from the opening game (Gorman wasn't called up until May of last year).

A more realistic expectation would be 20-25 homers. This would still likely place him in the top 5 home run totals for second baseman. If Gorman can cut down on the strikeouts, the power he brings to the table at such a young age will give you your second baseman of the future in your dynasty league.

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