Rising Star - SIU's Tyler Norrick

Selected in the sixth round of the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Norrick received a $45,000 signing bonus to play for the Birds on the Bat

The 22 year old, 6'3" 210-pounder LHP Tyler Norrick, from Festus Missouri, had his chance to play professional baseball in 2005, he was selected by Toronto in the 17th round of the 2005 draft, but elected to return to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for his senior season.

"Clubs were calling me after the fifth round, and I basically told them `No,'" Norrick said. "I like it at Southern, and I have no problem going back for my senior year. I told teams they needed to make it worth my while for me not to go back."

As a senior, Norrick posted a 4-4 record for the SIU Salukis, with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts and one relief appearance.

During his college career he posted a 12-10 record with a 3.74 ERA in four seasons at Southern Illinois, serving primarily as a reliever during his first two years before moving into the starting rotation the last two seasons.

Norrick features a live four-seem fastball that is his strongest pitch, and complements the heater with a slider that he throws primarily to lefties and a split-finger fastball that he developed when he converted to a starter at SIU, that he uses to keep righties off-balance.

Norrick was the first pitcher of St. Louis' 2006 draft class to earn a promotion this season, being promoted to the Swing of Quad Cities in June after starting the season for short-season State College Spikes.

Tyler was 1-0 with a 0.87 ERA through his first two starts at John O'Donnell Stadium, finishing the season with a 2-2 record and one save with a 3.72 ERA for Quad Cities, in 13 games, to include 12 starts.

Norrick getting use to being the spotlight, was on the mound when the Swing of Quad Cities clinched the Midwest League Western Division second-half title this season with a 2-1 win over the Burlington Bees.

Norrick (2-2) yielded two hits and three walks over six innings, striking out seven. Through no fault of hit own, it was his first win in eight starts and nine appearances since July 12.

The Festus Missouri native is living his dream playing in the Cardinals organization.

"We all watch the Cardinals growing up and I'm sure anybody would tell you they all dreamed about playing at Busch Stadium and wearing a Cardinal's jersey," says Tyler.

When asked of his chances of making it to the majors, "I know its an obtainable goal and I think I got the stuff to be there here in a few years. I'm looking forward to it," says Johnson.

Norrick could find himself pitching at Palm Beach next season, the Cardinals High-A farm club, another step closer to pitching in Busch Stadium and living his dream.

Keep an eye on Tyler Norrick, his stock is rising and he's a "Rising Star."

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