ONE STEP CLOSER: Herum, Masters, & Norwood
ONE STEP CLOSER: Marty Herum
Kane County Cougars / Arizona Diamondbacks (Class A)
Mequon, WI – Former D3baseball.com Division III All-American infielder Marty Herum has quietly put together a solid professional career since spending two weeks as a temporary player with the Lakeshore Chinooks in 2013. After not being selected out of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the 2013 MLB Draft, Herum was plucked from the St. Croix Valley independent league and signed to a free agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Since then he has posted solid numbers, hitting .268 in his 2013 campaign with the Diamondbacks rookie league squad, .273 in a Class A season for South Bend, and most recently had his best season yet by hitting .303 for the Class A Kane County Cougars. Herum was selected as a Midwest League All-Star playing for South Bend in 2014 and then again in 2015 with Kane County. With two solid seasons of A ball under his belt, Herum is in position to work his way up the Diamondbacks’ ladder – not bad for a Division III free agent and former Chinook temp player! Although he has yet to be assigned for 2016, see if he can take the next step this spring at:
ONE STEP CLOSER: David Masters
Potomac Nationals / Washington Nationals (Class A-Advanced)
Mequon, WI – Following up a run to the 2012 College World Series with the Arkansas Razorbacks, David Masters played just thirteen games for the Lakeshore Chinooks, but the slick-fielding shortstop had been impressing major league scouts with his glove since high school when he was drafted in the 50th of the 2011 MLB Draft. By playing at junior college power Central Arizona and then with Arkansas, the Missouri native improved enough at the plate to raise his draft stock to be chosen by the Washington Nationals (436th overall pick in the 14th Round of the 2013 MLB Draft). On the strength of his fielding abilities, Masters has put together a minor league career bouncing around all levels of Class A, playing for the Auburndale Doubledays, Hagerstown Suns, and Potomac Nationals. In three seasons, Masters has survived on fielding as his career offensive numbers include a .208 batting average with four career home runs and 37 RBI. This spring, Masters will look to improve at the plate as he hopes for a chance to step up to AA Harrisburg Senators. Keep up with his quest at:
ONE STEP CLOSER: John Norwood
Jupiter Hammerheads / Miami Marlins (Class A-Advanced)
Mequon, WI – Despite finishing his college career with a College World Series Championship clinching home run for Vanderbilt in 2014, John Norwood was overlooked in the MLB Draft. The former 12th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays out of Peapack, NJ who also played outfield for the Lakeshore Chinooks in 2013, had teased scouts and fans alike with his impressive physical skills throughout his college years, but there were no takers when the draft came around again in 2014. Using that as motivation, Norwood signed a free agent contract with the Miami Marlins to begin his professional journey. After signing late and playing in just 20 games for Batavia, Norwood made an impression in 2015 playing for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. A versatile fourth outfielder, Norwood flashed plenty of power and speed in his first full season. He homered 16 times, clubbed 19 doubles and stole 34 bases. Although he walked 42 times to end up with a .304 on-base percentage, he also struck out 113 times and batted just .233.
Despite his trademark inconsistencies, Norwood was tabbed as an organizational All-Star for the Marlins’ franchise and has a good outlook on his progress at the plate. "I never really look at the numbers," Norwood said. "I've been hitting the ball hard all year. I try to come to the field every day and put in the effort to get the team a win. People outside of baseball might look at the numbers and make judgments. I mean, the numbers are always going to be there, but it's not always worth the battle." Norwood has been promoted for the 2016 season and will begin the season with the Jupiter Hammerheads. See how he does by following his career at:
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 140 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.