6/6 Cubs pick Norwood in 7th round
In the seventh round, the Cubs selected right-handed pitcher James Norwood of St. Louis University. He was projected to be picked in the early rounds of the First-Year Player Draft but an elbow injury may have prompted some teams to pass.
Norwood was winless and battled an elbow strain his sophomore year at St. Louis University in 2013. He came back strong. His fastball was clocked up to 98 mph, and he was steadily in the 91-95 mph range with some sink. He has yet to develop a quality secondary pitch, and that will determine his role.
He took over as the Billikens’ Friday starter, and earned first-team All-Atlantic 10 honors. Norwood went 8-2, second most wins in a single-season in school history, with a 2.68 ERA and 64 strikeouts over 94 innings in 15 starts. He struck out nine against Wake Forest over five innings, and threw a complete game against Richmond on April 18, giving up two hits and striking out six. On March 21, he threw a one-hit shutout against Rhode Island.
A finance major, the Manhattan, N.Y., native threw the first no-hitter in his high school’s history.
The 20-year-old right-hander was ranked by Baseball America as the 76th best prospect going into the Draft. Nearly 20 scouts saw Norwood hit 97 mph on the radar gun during an exhibition game last fall against the Ontario Blue Jays.
“There are a lot of plusses about James,” Norwood’s coach says. “He’s going to have to figure some things out with his secondary stuff and get after it pretty hard when he gets to his pro club, and I know he will. He’s a worker. He’s a good kid and represented SLU well and he’s going to do real well down the road.”
— Carrie Muskat