Scouting Reports for Toronto Blue Jays' Prospects in the 2014 Futures Game
The Futures Game has always been a big part of MLB’s annual All-Star Weekend festivities. The game—which features a matchup of the United States team vs. the World team—allows fans to catch a glimpse of baseball’s next generation of stars in action.
The Toronto Blue Jays will have left-hander Daniel Norris and outfielder Dalton Pompey represent the organization at the Futures Game this year.
Interestingly, Blue Jays fans might even find themselves a bit divided when watching the game as Norris will represent the U.S. team, and the Canadian Pompey will represent the World team.
Let’s take an in-depth look at both of these prospects.
*All stats are from milb.com and are current entering play on July 8, 2014.
Daniel Norris, Left-Handed Pitcher, Double-A New Hampshire
Daniel Norris has enjoyed a meteoric rise within the Blue Jays’ farm system this season.
The 21-year-old was absolutely dominant in the Class-A Florida State League, posting a 1.22 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 66.1 innings pitched for the Dunedin Blue Jays.
That performance led to a promotion to Double-A New Hampshire, where he currently has a very respectable 3.31 ERA and a whopping 25 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched.
While he’s not a power-pitcher by any means, Norris has good stuff. The left-hander’s fastball typically sits in the low-90s and tops out at 95 mph. His changeup is also considered to be a plus pitch, while his slider and curveball both have the potential to above-average offerings down the line.
The biggest area in need of improvement for Norris has always been his command. But he’s gotten better at commanding the strike zone in each of his professional seasons and has only given up 24 walks in 82.2 innings pitched this year.
If Norris can continue to pitch well at the Double-A level for the rest of this season, it’s very likely that he’ll open the 2015 season at Triple-A Buffalo. From there, he’ll likely only be months away from pitching in the major leagues.
Dalton Pompey, Outfielder, Double-A New Hampshire
Not a lot of Blue Jays fans had heard of Dalton Pompey before his breakout season this year, but he’s certainly become a big name now.
The Mississauga, Ontario native selected by the Blue Jays in the 16th round of the 2010 draft has finally started to realize his enormous potential.
In 70 games this season for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League, Pompey hit .319/.397/.471 with six home runs, 34 runs driven in and 49 runs scored. The 21-year-old also stole 29 bases in 31 attempts.
Pompey projects to be a dynamic force at the top of the batting order. With his speed and switch-hitting ability, he’d make an ideal leadoff hitter. He’s also displayed a great eye at the plate and has an OBP of .361 over his minor league career.
Defensively, Pompey’s speed gives him an above-average range in the outfield. He won the 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove as the top defensive centre fielder in the minor leagues.
The Blue Jays just recently promoted Pompey to Double-A New Hampshire, and he’ll likely spend the rest of the 2014 season there. Depending on his performance, he has chance to play for Triple-A Buffalo next season and move one step closer to the majors.