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Interview with Daniel Norris: Blue Jays Prospect and Top Left-Handed Pitcher in the 2011 Draft

Interview with Daniel Norris: Blue Jays Prospect and Top Left-Handed Pitcher in the 2011 Draft

December 22, 2011

Daniel Norris was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays 74th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft (photo credit: Toronto Observer)

Norris sat down with JaysProspects to share some highlights of his journey to professional baseball:

What was the draft process like for you?

Daniel Norris: The draft process was an awesome experience. It was filled with trials & hard times. However, God led me through it and in the end everything was worth it.

What lead you to sign with the Blue Jays rather than pursue the college root with Clemson?

Daniel Norris: It has always been my dream to play professional baseball. I couldn’t deny my dreams at that point!

What was the deciding factor in your tough choice picking a scholarship between hometown program Vandy and Clemson?

Daniel Norris: Good question! Vandy is a great school with even better coaches. However, I could say the same thing about Clemson & the atmosphere at Clemson fit me better as a person with the outdoorsy feel rather than the city life.

Being 18 years-old and going through the process you had to go through, who can you thank the most for helping get through a stressful time?

Daniel Norris: Without a doubt my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without Him there is no way I would have made it through. He is always there to listen to me & get me through it.

What were you going to be studying at Clemson?

Daniel Norris: I probably would have majored in baseball. I’m kidding. I was thinking along the lines of art.

When was the first time that you realized that you could do something with baseball?

Daniel Norris: I realized baseball was my life at a very young age. It was always the only thing I could think of. If I was bored at home or school, I would resort to thinking about baseball. Every aspect of the game intrigues me.

What have you done with the Blue Jays since you signed?

Daniel Norris: I went to instructional league.  They have taught me a lot about the game of baseball!

Can you give me a detailed description of your arsenal? As well as stating what you’re out pitch is?

Daniel Norris: I throw both a 4-seam & 2-seam fastball. My 4-seam registers at 92-96MPH; The 2-seam fastball at 89-93MPH. I also have a 12-6 curveball (72-76MPH), a slider (82-86MPH) and a change-up (80-85MPH). My out pitch is my curveball.

Are you purely a pitcher or do you play any other positions?

Daniel Norris: Ah! Yes. I played CF as well. I loved hitting & making plays in the outfield. I love the game so much and playing every day as a positional player was always something that interested me. I was going to Clemson to play both ways! 

What do you do in the off-season to prepare for the upcoming season?

Daniel Norris: I just started lifting weights a month or two ago so I’m doing that mixed in with high intensity agility and sprint work training.

Did you play any other sports while growing up?

Daniel Norris: Yes I played both basketball & football throughout high school!

As I have come to find out your father runs a bike shop, can you give any credit to that for your success as a pitcher?

Daniel Norris: I can. The mechanics of a bike are similar to that of a pitcher, if one thing is wrong, the bike won’t roll right. Same with pitching, it’s neat really.

Where is your favourite spot to go mountain biking?

Daniel Norris: Too many to choose! There are great spots all over east Tennessee and west North Carolina!

What is your most memorable baseball moment?

Daniel Norris: To this point would be receiving the Jackie Robinson Award. That was the highest honor for me and I am very thankful for the selection.

If you could pick one player in the MLB you model yourself after whom would it be and why?

Daniel Norris: Clayton Kershaw. I have been compared to him by others which is neat. But also he is a man of faith and I respect the way he carries himself on and off the field. Both of those are very important to me.

If you had to describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Daniel Norris: Christian

Jays Prospects would just like to thank Daniel Norris for the time and effortand we wish him the best of luck in the upcoming 2012 season and beyond!