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School: Saint Louis; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-2; Weight: 200 pounds
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: A true swing-and-miss reliever for Saint Louis for parts of his first two seasons, Norwood is finally healthy after battling injuries during a shortened sophomore campaign. In his first extended action as a starting pitcher this season, the 6-foot-2 right-hander has blossomed into the club’s ace: 89.0 IP, 6.27 K/9 and 2.63 BB/9.
Projection: The noticeable downturn in his K-rate this season – he averaged about a punch per inning working mainly as a reliever – isn’t very concerning given his lack of experience in the rotation. He’ll likely get a couple of seasons to prove that he can stick as a starting pitcher, but his ceiling as a power armed backend reliever is still relatively high. The control is a solid or better skill. The level of competition is somewhat of a concern, so too is the fact that he’s given up four homeruns this year.
If everything breaks right – and, again, a lot of that is predicated on the his ability to improve his low K-rate – Norwood could be a middle-of-the-rotation-type arm. Another sleeper in this year’s deep pitching class.
Ceiling: 2.0- to 2.5-win player (starter); 1.0- to 1.5-win player (reliever)
Floor: 0.5- to 1.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low (starter); Moderate (reliever)
Draft Projection: Third Round
Photo Courtesy of slubillikens.com.