30 Players in 30 Days: Derek Norris

Derek Norris


022508-207 derek norris c.JPGAll the hype surrounded Nationals first round pick Ross Detwiler after the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Fourth round pick Derek Norris went under the radar. He can’t hide any longer. He made a name for himself this season and was named the Nationals 2009 Minor League Player of the Year.

He joins Justin Maxwell (2007) and Leonard Davis (2008) as past recipients of the award. The Goddard, Kansas native, Norris turned down a scholarship to play at Wichita State and signed with the Nationals in 2007. He immediately become one of the Nationals top catching prospects. He hit .286 with 30 doubles, 23 home runs, 84 RBI and 78 runs scored in 126 games with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns this season. He paced full-season Washington farmhands in home runs, walks (90), on-base percentage (.413), slugging percentage (.513) and OPS (.926). He was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League but fractured his left hamate bone while working out in the Instructional League.

He is built like Russell Martin, a short, stocky catcher with a powerful stroke at the plate. He doesn’t have a time table for making it to the Majors, as those never seem to go as planned anyway. He will likely start the 2010 campaign with the Single-A Potomac Nationals and he has no intention on switching positions. 

“No, I’m not looking to change any positions,” Norris said. “I know my numbers look a little shaky at times, as far as passed balls and errors but I think that if I keep progressing from year to year I’ll achieve what I want to achieve.”

The Player of the Year award adds to the laundry list of accolades the 20-year-old received in 2009. The right-handed hitting slugger earned both midseason and postseason South Atlantic League All-Star honors. Norris was named the SAL Most Outstanding Major League Prospect. He was recently cited in Baseball America‘s annual Best Tools survey voted upon by league managers as the Best Batting Prospect and Best Power Prospect in the SAL. While this was a banner year for Norris, there are many more accolades to come in his baseball career.

Derek Norris Final Minor League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

126

437

78

125

224

30

0

23

84

90

116

6

3

.286

.413

.513

.926

1 Comment

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