Gorman is Home Run king again, wins UA All-America Derby
Por Fabian Ardaya
CHICAGO -- Nolan Gorman just erased any doubt as to who the best home run hitter is in the 2018 high school baseball class.
Just weeks after claiming the All-Star Game High School Home Run Derby in Miami, Gorman put on a show at Wrigley Field to clinch the Under Armour High School All-America Game B45 Home Run Derby over Nander De Sedas on Saturday.
The 6-foot-1 third baseman from Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Glendale, Ariz., has been known for his pop, but he had to come through late on a pair of occasions to clinch his second derby title this month and showcase some of the poise his previous experience had granted him.
"I have the experience from the High School Home Run Derby, so that helped a lot," Gorman said. "Had 50,000 fans watching then, but this was amazing to be here with all my teammates."
Gorman hit six homers in his opening round to force a 30-second swing-off against Elijah Cabell of TNXL Academy in Winter Park, Fla. He knocked off Cabell, Jim Callis' No. 11 high school prospect, in supreme fashion, cranking one off the new scoreboard in right field at Wrigley to send him into the final round against De Sedas, a 6-foot-2 third baseman out of Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla.
De Sedas, whom Callis considers the seventh-best high school prospect in the 2018 class, led off the final round with five homers, including one hit all the way to Waveland Avenue beyond the left-field wall. Gorman answered, rallying for back-to-back homers in the round's final 30 seconds to walk off with the victory.
"It was definitely nerve-wracking with the short amount of time," Gorman said. "I think I had three more to hit, and then I just found myself in a groove.
"I knew it was gone when I hit it, so I just walked off to my team and got squirted with water."
De Sedas had been the star of the first round, launching nine homers to just edge out 6-foor-4, 240-pound first baseman Triston Casas from American Heritage School in Pembroke Pines, Fla., and represent the National League in the final round.
Gorman, a University of Arizona commit, is regarded by scouts and experts alike as possessing some of the best hit-power tools of any high school player in the 2018 class. He suited up for the American League squad on Saturday, lining up at the third-base spot he most likely projects to at the next level.
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @FabianArdaya. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.