"Yeah, I'm a badass."
The Baltimore Orioles are currently in the lead, with a 1.5 game lead on the Pittsburgh Pirates and a 4.5 game lead on the Seattle Mariners. And don't count the Arizona Diamondbacks out yet either. All of these teams have a legit shot to win this thing. I am talking, of course, about the tank jobs that some of these teams are pulling to land Daniel Norris, the future #1 pick in the MLB Amateur Draft come May 2011.
Who? I'm glad you asked.
Daniel Norris is the top prep prospect in the country. He is a 6'2" 180 pound southpaw from Johnson City, Tennessee. Norris has a 95 mph fastball, a 12-6 curveball he throws in the mid-70's, and a quality changeup that comes in around 82 mph. He has been touted by MLB Fanhouse as "the best left-handed pitching prospect to come along in the draft in... years." He has also been called "the full package" and is described as having "a nice feel for pitching" already.
As a high school athlete, this kid has 3 major league- ready pitches, and has been praised for his poise on and off the field. In a game this spring, he no-hit a team, while striking out 17 batters in only 7 innings. While he may not have the hype of last year's #1 pick Stephen Strasburg, he is certainly a player worth noting. If you're a fan of one of those teams I mentioned earlier, I'm so sorry for you, but keep your head up, there could be a top of the rotation arm coming your way.
Along with the (obvious) choice of going pro next spring, Norris is also considering offers to play at Clemson, Vanderbilt, and UNC.