Toronto Blue Jays prospect Daniel Norris has been turning heads all year with a torrid start to the 2014 season. Now he’s been recognized as one of the top pitching prospects in the game, being awarded the MLB Pipeline Pitching Prospect of the Month for May.
The Johnson City, TN native has been lights out throughout the 2014 season, posting a 4-0 record with a 1.12 ERA, and a 4.71 K/BB ratio for the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays. However, he turned that up a notch in May when he went 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA, allowing just 2 earned runs in 26.1 innings of work, while striking out 34 batters and walking just 8.
In winning the award, Norris beat out some of the best pitching prospect in baseball, including Jimmy Nelson of the Milwaukee Brewers and Henry Owens of the Boston Red Sox. However, his continued excellence and an expected mid-season promotion to Double-A New Hampshire will likely vault Norris into the conversation for top organizational prospects.
We had the opportunity to talk with Daniel Norris a few weeks ago about his improvements in 2014, something he credits to long hours spent working with Vince Horsman and getting on top of the baseball better. Those improvements originally started showing in the latter part of 2013, when he posted a 2.12 ERA and a 83/30 K/BB ratio over his final 63.2 innings last season.
MLB.com had Norris ranked as the Blue Jays #4 prospect heading into the 2014 season, behind Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, and Roberto Osuna. Baseball Prospectus also had Norris fourth, but substituted Osuna for Alberto Tirado. Jays Journal had him #5 behind the aforementioned trio and Sean Nolin.