June 29, 2013 10:36:13 PM
Matthew Stevens - firstname.lastname@example.org
STARKVILLE -- Daryl Norris announced Friday he planned to give up his final year of eligibility with the Mississippi State University baseball team to sign a professional baseball contract with the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers used the 666th overall pick in the 22nd round to select Norris, a junior third baseman/right-handed pitcher. Norris, 22, announced his decision on Twitter.
"I'm excited to say I'll be signing a contract with the Detroit Tigers," Norris said on his Twitter account, @DarylNorris5. "It was an honor to wear the maroon and white and be part of an incredible university."
Norris hit .219 with eight RBIs in 64 at-bats as a junior after recovering from knee injury. He had a team-high 6.23 ERA in 4 1/3 innings in three appearances this season.
According to a 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft rule, prospects selected after the 10th round don't count against the signing bonus pool unless they receive a signing bonus greater of $100,000. MLB and the MLB Players Union created what is now referred to as signing bonus pools, where each franchise is assigned an aggregate dollar value it is allowed to spend prior to each draft. The adjustment was designed to prevent teams in big markets from drafting a high school prospect or a college junior in later rounds and offering him a bonus to buy their way out of a commitment to a university.
The draft bonus pools will be relegated by a tax system that potentially penalizes franchises for going over the dollar allotment. Under the current agreement that runs through 2016, if a club goes over the pool allotment by 0-5 percent it will be taxed 75 percent on that overage. Any overspending by 5-10 percent causes a 75-percent tax on the overage and a loss of first-round pick. Any spending of more than 10-15 percent results in a 100-percent tax on overage and the loss of first- and second-round picks. Spending of more than 15 percent will result in a 100-percent tax on overage and the loss of first-round picks in the next two drafts.
Three years ago, Norris, a 2010 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season High School All-American out of Fairhope (Ala.) High School, said he and his father informed clubs he wouldn't sign for less than $500,000. The Texas Rangers didn't draft him until the 46th round.
"Thank you bulldawgs fans for making these past three years some of the best years of my life," Norris tweeted. "(MSU) Coach (John) Cohen is building a championship, and it won't be long before he brings a national championship to Starkville."
In 2012, Norris, a draft-eligible sophomore, wasn't drafted primarily because he and his family told professional organizations he wanted to return to MSU for his junior season.
"I know guys like Daryl and our signees received a considerable amount of phone calls because teams wanted to know their interest before they drafted them," Cohen said in 2012. "Before teams would just draft them and then wait out their interest."
In 2012, Norris, sustained a severe injury early in the season after he fouled off a pitch and his knee cap popped out of its socket. According to the MRI scan, the detachment of the knee cap caused a strain of the ligaments in his knee. Norris had started every game at third base before the injury and was hitting .375 with 12 RBIs. He also had a perfect fielding percentage in 14 games.
MSU senior left-hander Luis Pollorena also signed with the Texas Rangers after being drafted in the 23rd round.
Pollorena (6-4, 4.27 ERA) pitched the first inning of game two of the College World Series Finals loss to UCLA. The 5-foot-9 southpaw made 13 starts this season and earned 17 victories in three seasons with MSU. The Laredo, Texas, native had 59 strikeouts in 78 innings this season. He moved into the starting rotation three weeks into Southeastern Conference play. His last victory came in his home state of Texas in front of family and friends in a 3-2 victory against Texas A&M University on April 12. He allowed one earned run in 6 1/3 innings.