Mar 25, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris against the Cincinnati Reds at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Norris: Breakout Star for Oakland


In 2012, Josh Reddick amazed A’s fans by having a breakout season offensively and leading the team in home runs. In 2013, Josh Donaldson came out of nowhere and also stunned A’s fans and baseball fans everywhere by nearly making the All-Star team and getting a credible amount of MVP votes. In 2014, it will be Derek Norris.

Norris had an outstanding Spring. He batted for a .378 average and did so while also facing right handed pitching. He has been working on his defensive skills as well, so he will also impress us defensively. He has the motivation to be the everyday catcher for the Oakland Athletics, and that will drive him to be the breakout player in 2014.

My prediction for Derek Norris is that he will bat for a .280 average and top 20 home runs. He’s a new man and he can get it done. It may seem unlikely, but no one thought that Josh Donaldson would do what he did last year. The same applies with Josh Reddick. So why not Derek Norris?

Some other players have a good shot at being the surprise breakout star are Daric Barton and Nick Punto.

Barton was really useful for the Athletics in the second half of the season, specifically the month of September. He only got 3 at bats in the post season, but a new season gives him a clean slate to start off with. He has also been with the club for 8 years, so it’s about time he does well with the Athletics.

Nick Punto also had an amazing spring. He was getting hits practically every game. He is set up to be a platoon player, but if he breaks out he may put Sogard out of a job. So he may be the breakout star as well.

In the end, I still think that Derek Norris will be the breakout star. He is a great hitter and he will help lead the Athletics to another AL West title.

 

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