As a fifth-round draft pick with a father who played, coached and managed in the majors leagues, Connor Narron was a player many O's fans kept close tabs on last summer.
But after he was drafted out of a North Carolina high school and signed with the Orioles, he struggled at bat, hitting .164 in 19 late-summer games with the Gulf Coast League Orioles and with short-season Single-A Aberdeen.
Narron is now with Aberdeen again, playing at third base and excited to get the season started this Friday night at Ripken Stadium. He said it was disappointing to not make a full-season club in April, but that he used his time well at extended spring training.
"Yeah (it was disappointing), but I had some things to work on and there were some older guys in front of me," Narron said. "But it's helped me a lot to mature and find myself. I'm swinging the bat pretty well now, seeing the ball great right now. Trying to save some hits for the season."
Narron, who batted .121 in eight Aberdeen games last year, admits he had some adjustments to make in moving from high school to pro ball. He said he made some changes in his batting stance this year.
"It's a lot different than high school," he said. "I was used to swinging the wood bats from all the tournaments I played in during high school, but the competition from here is like what I saw in the Aflac All-American game and you see it every single night (in pro ball). Somebody throwing 90 with a good curve and change."
After not hitting much in his limited at-bats last year, Narron now looks forward to the beginning of the IronBirds' season.
"I feel like I need to prove myself," Narron said. "I had a chance last year in eight games and wasn't doing too well. But I feel I've gotten bigger, stronger, little bit faster maybe. I feel like I've matured and know how to go about my business now better than last year."
He also realizes he deals with some high expectations, because he got an overslot bonus last year and also because of his famous family name. His dad, Jerry Narron, managed the Rangers and Reds, coached with the Orioles and is now the Brewers bench coach.
"(The expectations have) been there my whole life. You know it's there, but you have to put it behind you and go about your business. Just have to learn how to deal with it," Narron said.