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Has Anything Changed? Derek Norris

Kevin Nielsen examines the current status of A's Catcher Derek Norris.

Derek Norris steals a base.
Derek Norris steals a base.
Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

For the basics on A's catcher Derek Norris, check out Jason Hunt's piece from last season here.

What has his performance been like?

Derek Norris hit just .201 with 7 HR and 5 SB in 60 games at the MLB level with the Athletics last season. His .255 BABIP probably contributed to that average being so low. With neutral luck he is perhaps a .250 hitter with room for improvement since he's young and decent patience at the plate. In 58 games at AAA last season Norris had very similar statistics with 9 HR and 5 SB but with a .271 average. Norris is a sneaky-good base stealer, only having been caught twice in 12 tries between AAA and MLB in 2012.

What is his current status?

Derek Norris is stuck in a platoon with John Jaso for the time being. He'll mostly just start against LHP, although the platoon isn't 100% strict. This really drags down Norris' value. His counting stats won't be great as long as he is in the lineup less than half the time. The nice thing is he is hitting over .400 with a K:BB of 3:3 and even has stolen a base thus far. Poor performance or an injury to John Jaso is likely the best hope for Norris once again receiving full-time at-bats.

What can we expect moving forward?

Norris' legs should be fresh all season with his playing time situation the way it is. That should open to door for 10+ SB even if he only gets about 250 at-bats. This will be especially true if he is able to translate the patience to take a walk that he displayed in the minors over into MLB. He's doing that so far this season unlike last year. Norris' bat has plenty of pop but the Coliseum should drain at least some of it. I would expect 10 HR from him if he gets 250 at-bats. A 10/10 season with a .250+ batting average is pretty valuable from the catcher position if you play in a daily league, AL-Only league, 2-catcher league, or an incredibly deep mixed league.

In a daily league I would try to add him on days when the A's face a LHP and then drop him for better match-ups on other days. If you're lucky you will be able to do this for much of the season without another owner picking him up and keeping him on their roster. For future years it's certainly possible he will regain a full-time role and realize the 20 HR potential that Jason Hunt praised him for.

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