Much virtual ink has been spilled over the name Daniel Norris these past few days, a second round high school pick who happens to throw a baseball with his left hand. But if you recall, it hasn’t always been that way. When he was taken 74th overall in 2011, the so-called draft experts were saying how it was a steal to get him there and that he was the best high school lefty talent available in the entire draft. Then he goes to rookie ball and hangs up a 7.97 ERA in 10 starts with a 1.629 WHIP. Not exactly world beater stuff right there.
As an organization, if you are going to get in the habit of taking a lot of high school players in your draft classes then you must be willing to wait for them to develop. This isn’t always easy to do, and the Blue Jays deserve some praise in this specific case. Patience is only half of the equation, really—you also need some great coaches at the lower minor leagues levels who have the right approach. Seems to have worked out pretty swell as he is now being mentioned as a potential trade chip for guys like David Price, Cliff Lee and Jeff Samardzija.
Daniel Norris was recently named to the Futures Game roster, representing the American side. This is a premium showcase for young, developing talent and it is quite an honour to be involved in this game.
From the most recent Baseball America Podcast:
I am very interested in seeing Daniel Norris because Daniel Norris, I give him massive loads of credit. There are not many guys who’ve pulled off what he did. Daniel Norris for the first, I don't know seven pro months of his career, was terrible. I don't mean bad, I mean getting his brains beat in pretty much every time out, what's wrong with him, for a guy who got a whole lot of money how is he as bad as this, you know, what's the problem? And he didn't go into a funk, he worked with his coaches, he got better and then it was like the light switch turned on. And the funny thing is he always had stuff even when he was giving up two hits an inning, even though he was walking a lot of guys. The light switch got on and he's gotten better and better and better, and now he's very much the Daniel Norris that everyone thought he was gonna be coming out of the draft. I give him a lot of credit, a lot of guys when it goes bad like that gets really hard to pull out of it. Daniel Norris pulled out of it.
If you are wondering when exactly the light switch turned on, we’ve got that for you. Who better to ask than the gentleman who watched him pitch every game last year: Our boy Jesse, the radio broadcaster with the Lansing Lugnuts.
Q: Can you pinpoint the exact time in which Daniel Norris turned the corner last year?
A: Absolutely. May 13th, and up another level on August 4th.
The game logs for the 2013 season can be found here.
Our lead minor league reporter Jay Floyd was able to catch up with Daniel Norris last weekend in Trenton and spoke to the 6’2, 180 lbs pitcher. In a wide-ranging interview, they discuss:
FSL all-star experience
Learning to pitch to the ballpark
Attention to hydration on the days before he pitches and on game day
Favourite baseball movie
Faith in God
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