Miami Marlins Prospect Watch: Spotlight on John Norwood
John Norwood is a 6’2″, 190 lb. outfielder from Peapack-Gladstone, NJ. Born on September 24th, 1992, the 25-year-old right-handed hitter was a 12th round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.
John Norwood didn’t sign a contract with the Jays, instead opting to play college ball for the Vanderbilt Commodores. In three collegiate division I seasons, Norwood slashed .284/.358/.391 in 125 contests in the outfield. He had five home runs, 49 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. He also smacked the game-winning home run to give Vanderbilt the College World Series title in 2014.
The performance did nothing to increase his draft stock, and eventually he signed with the Miami Marlins as a free agent on August 7th, 2014.
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Norwood has a lot of power to his pull side, and is reliant on his strong core to muscle balls into the stands. He’s not as patient as we’d like however, and has walked just 20 times to 64 strikeouts this season for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Norwood’s strongest skill of the five tools is his speed. He grades out with a 55 run rating, which plays better in the field than on the basepaths. He’s also stolen 11 bases this season.
Norwood slashed .256/.284/.295 in a 20 game look to start his professional career with the Batavia Muckdogs to close out 2014. In a longer look with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2015, he slashed .233/.304/.392 in 120 games in right field. He drew 42 walks, indicating a willingness to learn pitch selection, but he also whiffed 113 times. On the plus side, he walloped 16 home runs and stole 34 bases.
In 2016, Norwood slashed .271/.347/.397 for the Jupiter Hammerheads. He hit nine home runs and 50 RBI with 14 stolen bases in 127 appearances. Norwood drew 49 walks and struck out 116 times.
Another promotion in 2017 would see Norwood notch career highs in every statistical category. In 135 games for the Jumbo Shrimp, he slashed .285/.367/.459 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI. He also drew 59 walks, but struck out 134 times.
Defensively, Norwood has collected 41 outfield assists in 430 career games. That’s about one assist every 10 games. Put into perspective, that’s 16 assists projected for a full MLB season.
Despite being advertised as an outfielder, Norwood projects as a right fielder. He’s started 311 times at the nine, 21 times in center, and only twice in left.
Currently the 30th ranked prospect in the Miami Marlins system, Norwood is ripe for promotion to the New Orleans Baby Cakes. With normal progression, we should expect to see Norwood make a debut with the Miami Marlins sometime in 2019.
Miami has signed three right-handed pitchers. 20th round selection Cam Baird, 29th rounder C.J. Carter, and free agent Jameson McGrane have all agreed to terms.
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