While Connor Norby‘s career started off slow at East Carolina University, he certainly has turned it around. The Pirates’ second baseman has raked over the last two seasons. So much so, that he has put himself firmly in the first three rounds (#84 MLB Pipeline). Let’s take a look at what kind of skills Norby has.
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Connor Norby, 2B, East Carolina
Weight: 190 lbs.
2019: 27 G (35 PA), .194/.286/.290, 1 HR
2020: 17 G – .403/.439/.500, 4 HR, 2 SB
2021: 61 G – .415/.484/.659, 15 HRs, 18 SBs
Norby has shown his power-speed combo this season. For someone who wasn’t drafted out of High School, the Pirates’ second baseman has moved his draft stock up into the top 100. He has made some great adjustments at the plate and has become more athletic as he filled out. With a 60 hit tool and no glaring weakness, Norby could be a steal for a team in the late-second or early-third rounds.
Norby’s bat is what really gets scouts to notice. The hit tool is obvious and projectable. He combines a compact right-handed swing with very good plate discipline. His quiet approach and quick hands allow him to adjust to offspeed pitches as well as drive a fastball the other way if he is late. With his gap-to-gap hitting, solid speed, and aggressive baserunning, I could see 50+ doubles and triples in Norby’s future.
The 21-year-old has good hands and enough athleticism to play second base well at the next level. He is smooth around the bag and his transfer is quick to be able to turn his share of double-plays. Norby has a high baseball IQ which will allow him to be in the right position whether it is covering first or going out for a relay throw. What he lacks in overall speed, although his wheels are solid, he more than makes up for with a quick first step and aggressiveness.
There really isn’t a glaring weakness to Norby’s game. The only thing scouts worry about is his power. He is listed anywhere from 5-foot-10 to 6-foot tall depending on where you look. That being said, he makes the most out of his frame. With a line drive approach though, he may not tap into the strength he has in-game. Overall, Norby is a very good player but if his bat doesn’t play, he won’t find playing time as his other tools, while good, are not going to carry him.
Pro Comparison: Adam Frazier
Although Frazier is a lefty, their hitting profiles are similar as well as their frames. Both players are doubles hitters with a little pop, can steal a bag once in a while, and play a solid second base. They also have good plate discipline as Frazier has a career 7.5 percent BB rate and only a 13.2 percent K rate. I could see the East Carolina second baseman hitting .280 with 35 doubles and 10-15 bombs a year.
Draft Projection: Round 2, Pick 67, Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona goes for another bat here. They can obviously use the offense and they add to the stable after taking Brady House sixth overall. The Diamondbacks system is filled with outfielders and pitchers. With House and Norby, they can start to build an infield to go with Pavin Smith for the future.
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Main Image Credit: https://ecupirates.com/news/2021/6/8/baseball-connor-norby-named-finalist-for-bragan-award.aspx