Toronto Blue Jays prospect Daniel Norris is currently the 4th ranked prospect in the Jays organization, the 20-year old hurler was gracious enough to speak with Baseball Hot Corner about his trek to the majors.
1. Born and raised in Tennessee, which is very much a football state, at what point did you realize baseball was the sport for you?
[quote]I played 3 sports through high school. Baseball, Football & Basketball. I loved all 3. However, baseball has this majestic euphoria about it. In every aspect of the game. I realized that at a very early age. The passion for baseball, I believe, is something I was born with inside of me.[/quote]
2. Growing up in the nineties, who was your favorite team and player growing up?
[quote]I grew up loving the Braves & Chipper Jones
. I reminisce on the years of my life when we used to make trips to Turner Field and I’d say a few little prayers in hopes of meeting ole Chip… maybe one day yet.[/quote]
3. You hadn’t even turned one when the Toronto Blue Jays won their second consecutive World Series. What is it like playing for a organisation with such rich history? Do you see them getting back to where they once were?
[quote]I have truly enjoyed learning about the history of the Blue Jays in the past couple years. I love the legendary stories about Doc Halladay & his ‘second to none’ work ethic. First hand experiences with the developmental staff on board with the Jays minor league system leave me with no doubt that we will be back in October competing for a title. I feel very fortunate to be around such a determined coaching staff.[/quote]
4. Now you’re currently ranked as the #4 prospect in the Blue Jays organisation and finished up at advanced Single-A ball last year. What your aims entering the 2014 season?
[quote]To be completely honest, my main focus or “goal” is to answer the bell every 5th day for the entirety of the season. I aim to stay hungry every single day and go above & beyond in the weight & training room to ensure myself & the coaching staff that I will be healthy throughout the season. I tend to stray away from personal & statistical goals because a lot of those things can be out of your control.[/quote]
5. Besides from the money and fame, what are your motivations to get up and work hard every day?
[quote]I don’t have the kind of desire for money and fame you might be used to seeing. I’ve been raised in a way to be able to live simply & have a deep respect for God & the earth. He blessed us with that provides us with all we need. If God blesses me with opportunities to help others with my money then I will & if He blesses me with a pedestal to spread His name & to encourage others to take care of this beautiful earth then I will do that as well.[/quote]
6. Since 2009, Alex Anthopoulos has built up one of the best-respected farm-systems in the majors. Do you, as a prospect, ever think about being traded or what the next move might be?
[quote]Back to controlling what I can control. I try not to worry about that side of the game. What is meant to be will always be. I have 100% faith & have found peace in that. Regardless of where I am next year or on down the road I am going to throw the ball with a purpose. Id love to stay with the same club my entire career. I think that’s cool. Just like Ole Chipper did. But at the end of the day I still get to play ball.[/quote]
7. Talking of the big-league club, how much interaction and conversation do you have with the likes of Alex Anthopolous and John Gibbons?
[quote]Not much you know. I’ve talked with Alex a few times here & there. I truly respect the intelligence the man possesses. He wants to win & I think we can all relate to that. Id love to be able to help him win way up North sometime soon. – Also, Andrew Tinnish & Tony Lacava are key ingredients in this organization. Honestly both of them will be head GM’s one day. They are the 2 most positive persons I think I’ve ever met.[/quote]
8. If you could describe Daniel Norris in three words, what would you tell people?
[quote]Christian, Passionate, Earthly.[/quote]
9. Entering Spring Training each year, is there something specific in your game you try to improve on, or do you go in there and try to improve as a whole?
[quote]I definitely try to improve every little aspect of my game. Spring Training is a prime time to make like a sponge & absorb all of the knowledge being spread around by Hall of Famers, Past Big Leaguers & Baseball gurus.[/quote]
10. If you could recommend one prospect in the Jay’s organization who you think is just about ready to break out in the majors, who would it be?
[quote]There are a number of guys in the organization that have incredible talent that push me to keep getting better every single day. Id have to say that John Stilson
is ready to prove himself at the big league level. He is a bull dog on the mound & I know he wont be phased by big league bats. Hes got great stuff but his tenacity is what will bring him success. Teammates feed off of his energy.[/quote]
All the best for the 2014 season!
You can follow both Daniels on Twitter @DanielLevitt32 and @DanielNorris18.