Norris Feeling A Difference

DUNEDIN, FL - Last year's second round Daniel Norris is coming off his first professional stint which saw him tout impressive poise in Instructional League play. Norris was the first of the 2011 draft picks to get in-game action at Instructs. Now with a few days of Extended Spring Training under his belt, the focus for Norris has been improvement of his command.

"Mechanically he's come a long way and is doing very well," said Vancouver Pitching Coach Jim Czajkowski, who is currently in Dunedin for EST. While Czajkowski said that Norris was struggling a bit with, "trying to do too much work and impress too much during Spring Training," the southpaw has been feeling more comfortable as of late.

While Norris acknowledged that he is always working on touching up his mechanics, he has noticed that his pitches have gotten better and that he is maintaining his delivery. Norris attributed the ability to keep his delivery consistent as the reason why his pitches have been more effective.

"I would like to keep repeating my delivery and continue what I'm doing," he said.

Norris' power on the mound is already solid, with a fastball that lived in the 90-91 range during Instructs but can reach up to 93 MPH. Still, though, he said that his main goal during off season was "to get a lot stronger and to be better."

His offseason workouts consisted of weightlifting four times a week and working on agility and conditioning the other days. The 18-year-old Tennessee native said that he definitely notices a difference in himself since high school.

"There is a huge difference in my recovery time. It's much faster," Norris said. He has seen physical changes in his strength, agility and flexibility. He also asserted that he has gained some weight and put on muscle.

Norris had the opportunity to pitch in Lansing for the exhibition game against Michigan State University.

"It was a great experience," he said. "Playing in front of 13,000 people was a great opportunity and definitely gave me something to work for." He added that he threw really well in the game.

Looking forward, Czajkowski wants the 6-foot-2 Norris to continue working on his mechanical skills. "(He needs to focus on) watching where he steps, trying to keep his arm up and follow through with his motions and staying more in line with the plate when he throws." Czajkowski feels, though, that overall, Norris is coming along nicely and doing well. "He is a very bright kid that is willing to work," said Czajkowski.

Norris described his first Spring Training camp as an awesome experience and said that he really learned a lot about the game during his time in camp. "I didn't have off days and personally, I like it that way," he said. "I don't like getting off routine."

"Although it's too early to predict the future just yet, he's got the tools to be a definite major leaguer," added Czajkowski.

At this point in his early pro career, Norris said that he just wants to keep improving. "I love the game every day," he said. "The minute you stop loving it, you go downhill. It will always be in my heart."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"Mechanically he's come a long way and is doing very well,\" said Vancouver Pitching Coach Jim Czajkowski, who is currently in Dunedin for EST. While Czajkowski said that Norris was struggling a bit with, \"trying to do too much work and impress too much during Spring Training,\" the southpaw has been feeling more comfortable as of late.
\r\n
\r\nWhile Norris acknowledged that he is always working on touching up his mechanics, he has noticed that his pitches have gotten better and that he is maintaining his delivery. Norris attributed the ability to keep his delivery consistent as the reason why his pitches have been more effective.
\r\n
\r\n\"I would like to keep repeating my delivery and continue what I'm doing,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nNorris' power on the mound is already solid, with a fastball that lived in the 90-91 range during Instructs but can reach up to 93 MPH. Still, though, he said that his main goal during off season was \"to get a lot stronger and to be better.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis offseason workouts consisted of weightlifting four times a week and working on agility and conditioning the other days. The 18-year-old Tennessee native said that he definitely notices a difference in himself since high school.
\r\n
\r\n\"There is a huge difference in my recovery time. It's much faster,\" Norris said. He has seen physical changes in his strength, agility and flexibility. He also asserted that he has gained some weight and put on muscle.
\r\n
\r\nNorris had the opportunity to pitch in Lansing for the exhibition game against Michigan State University.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was a great experience,\" he said. \"Playing in front of 13,000 people was a great opportunity and definitely gave me something to work for.\" He added that he threw really well in the game.
\r\n
\r\nLooking forward, Czajkowski wants the 6-foot-2 Norris to continue working on his mechanical skills. \"(He needs to focus on) watching where he steps, trying to keep his arm up and follow through with his motions and staying more in line with the plate when he throws.\" Czajkowski feels, though, that overall, Norris is coming along nicely and doing well. \"He is a very bright kid that is willing to work,\" said Czajkowski.
\r\n
\r\nNorris described his first Spring Training camp as an awesome experience and said that he really learned a lot about the game during his time in camp. \"I didn't have off days and personally, I like it that way,\" he said. \"I don't like getting off routine.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Although it's too early to predict the future just yet, he's got the tools to be a definite major leaguer,\" added Czajkowski.
\r\n
\r\nAt this point in his early pro career, Norris said that he just wants to keep improving. \"I love the game every day,\" he said. \"The minute you stop loving it, you go downhill. It will always be in my heart.\"
\r\n
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