How Acquired: Drafted in the 4th round of the 2007 Amateur Draft
2008 – Vermont (New York-Penn League, Nationals Short Season A) – 70 games
- 10 homeruns, 38 rbi
- 11 stolen bases
- 63 walks, 56 strikeouts
- Baserunners: 23 CS out of 49 (47%)
2009 – Hagerstown (Sally League – Nationals Single A) – 126 games
- 23 homeruns, 84 rbi
- 6 stolen bases
- 90 walks, 116 strikeouts
- Baserunners: 55 CS out of 151 (36%)
Baseball America – #2 (WAS – 2010)
Baseball Prospectus – #4 (WAS – 2009) – 3 star
Project Prospect – #5 (Catcher – 12/2009)
John Sickels – #2 (WAS – 2010) – B+
When I first started looking at the Nationals system, I decided that I did not want to do a review on Stephen Strasburg. I have nothing against him, but since he was the #1 overall pick last year, and has been probably one of the most highly touted prospects to come along in a very long time, I wanted to see what else the system holds. And I found Norris.
Norris was drafted out of high school in 2007, and has had a good couple of years so far since hitting the Nats system. He posted a .286/.413/.513 line last season at Hagerstown, and hit 23 homeruns as a 20 year old. His plate discipline, even at a young age, appears to be very well refined. He walked 90 times, and struck out 116 in 2009.
I think that Norris’ bat is going to eventually play him into the Majors at some position. I’m not 100% sold it will be catcher, but I am sure that the Nationals will leave him there for as long as they possibly can before shifting him off the position. Realistically, there’s not really anyone blocking ANYBODY from the majors at a specific position right now for the Nationals, so they might as well leave him there to try and develop.
His skills behind the plate seem to be at least passable, and with work could definitely improve to a reasonable level for a major league catcher. He did throw out 36% of would-be basestealers last season, but I’d like to see a slight improvement on the 28 passed balls he allowed.
Norris looks like he will develop into a solid catcher, and if nothing else a very good major league hitter. I’d like to see him repeat the power this coming season before truly buying into it, but the plate discipline really makes him stand out to me as a top-tier prospect.
Prediction for 2010
.280/.410/.500, 22 homeruns, 80 RBI (A+/AA)
I would think Norris, if he’s not rushed, should arrive in the majors by 2012. I figure he’ll probably spend next season split between High-A and AA, and the 2011 season between AA and AAA. I could definitely see a callup in 2011, but probably not until late August at the soonest.
Tuesday’s Prospect: Eric Hosmer (1B) of the Kansas City Royals