A Q&A With MSU Signee Daryl Norris

Mississippi State baseball signee Daryl Norris, in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Gene's Page, talks about how his summer is going and where he stands in regard to his dealings with the Texas Rangers, the team that drafted him in the recent 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.

Daryl Norris is the consensus top player in the state of Alabama in his class of 2010. He has earned the following honors - the Louisville Slugger Player of the Year for Alabama, the Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year and the Alabama Sports Writers Association's Mr. Baseball for 2010.

You are playing summer ball with the Bama Bombers Scout team. How are you trying to improve your game while playing with them?
"We're just trying to get as many reps as we can, just always trying to keep in shape, see as much live pitching as we can, get as many ground balls as we can, just find some good competition to play against."

You hit two 400+ foot home runs in the game I just saw. Have you been hitting a lot of home runs this summer?
"Pretty much all summer, until last week, I hadn't been hitting that good. But last week, I finally figured it out again and started hitting again. I think I have hit five home runs in the last week and a half. It's good to finally get back on track and start hitting again."

Both of those home runs were shots. Are those two home runs typical home runs for you?
"Usually, when I try to hit a home run it is going to be a home run anywhere. Yeah, so I guess so."

Did those two home runs just happen or did you try to hit home runs?
"No, I just make sure I connect solid with it and then let the bat do the work."

I saw the two home runs today, but how would you describe yourself as a hitter?
"I would like to be described as a balanced hitter, be able to get base hits and home runs as well."

You were drafted by the Texas Rangers in the June Major League Baseball Draft. What is your status with them at this moment?
"I actually didn't get offered a signing bonus. I guess what I asked for was to high. They sent me a contract in the mail that would be a normal minor league contract, which is about $1,100 a month, basically, go play for free. It's definitely not the same as going to play at Dudy Noble."

Have the Rangers told you if they will talk to you again before the August signing deadline?
"They were going to try and come out and watch me pitch a couple of times (this summer) but I really haven't thrown much this summer because I've been trying to give my arm a little rest."

When you pitch at Mississippi State what will Mississippi State fans see; what pitches you throw and your fastball velocity?
"Normally an 89-92/93 miles per hour fastball, a good slider, a curveball, changeup and, hopefully, see a guy who can come out and throw consistently and be a good everytime I go out there."

What was your top velocity this past spring?
"As far as being clocked, I threw 95 a few times."

Realistically, what are the chances that you will be at Mississippi State this fall?
"About 99.999% (laugh)."

Do you feel that it will benefit you as a player to go to college?
"Yes sir, I can't wait. And I also have the two-year option since I will be a draft-eligible sophomore. That just gives me another option. I will be able to play at State and enjoy that a couple of years, then see what happens after that."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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