Today’s player of the day is Derek Norris. Norris is perhaps the catcher on the roster with the best chance of being on the 25 man roster come opening day. Let’s take a look at why that is.
Derek Norris was the king of pinch hitting in 2013. He had 3 home runs when he stepped up to the plate to pinch hit. He had 9 home runs in total. Norris is however, best off as a platoon player. He had an average of .320 against lefties but a dismal .149 against righties. All of his home runs came against lefties. Norris was great when he was put in the lineup against lefties, spectacular. Let’s look at his split stats from 2013. He had 25 RBI, 48 hits, and an on base percentage of .410 against lefties. Against righties, he had 5 RBI, 17 hits, and an on base percentage of .261. It’s obvious that Derek Norris was most productive against lefties and not so much with righties.
Derek Norris was solid on his defense. In the 663 innings that he played, he only made 3 errors. He had a total of 562 put outs. Norris even played a game at first base just to add to his versatility. Norris has a good balance. He has a good offensive output and is also good behind the plate. Norris also connects with the pitchers well and knows them well enough to try and utilize their strengths when they’re on the mound.
Norris will be practically the same in 2014 as he was in 2013. He will continue to platoon with another catcher who will be determined in spring training. Norris will see most of his action against lefties and will continue to produce for the A’s. My prediction is that he will have a .300 average against lefties and sub .200 for any action against righties. He will have 13 home runs and will hit at least 1 walk off home run. Expect the same ol’ Derek Norris that we know and love. 2014 will have continued success for Derek Norris.
As I stated with the offense, we’re only going to see Norris mostly against lefties and he will be platooning. He will continue to the same stuff he did in 2013. The interesting part about 2014 however, is that there will no longer be home plate collisions, so it will be interesting to see how not just Norris, but all catchers will be affected by this change. Norris is swift on defense so if it comes down to tag plays he will win more than lose those calls. Don’t be fooled by his size, Norris is quick and agile he will be just as good on defense as he was last year if not better.