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Derek Norris, C, Nationals (AFL: Scorpions): 2-for-4, 2B, HR (3), 2 R, 5 RBI

Looking very much over the hand troubles that bothered him all year, Norris' home run was estimated by a scout in attendance to travel somewhere in the neighborhood of 450 feet. Short and exceptionally quick to the ball, Norris' power, combined with elite on-base skills should make him an offensive catcher of the highest order, but he still needs that tag, as behind the plate, he merely qualifies as potentially acceptable. Which leaves the question, after watching some teams get exposed in the playoffs due to poor defensive catcher, will defensive prowess behind the plate become the next market inefficiency?

Others Of Note:

  • Manny Banuelos, LHP, Yankees (AFL: Desert Dogs): 3 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Tough assignment for any 19 year old; league is hitting .355 off the lefty.
  • Charles Blackman, OF, Rockies (AFL: Scorpions): 2-for-4, HR (3), 3 R, RBI. Home runs in back-to-back games; has power, speed and deserves more attention than he gets.
  • Adron Chambers, OF, Cardinals (AFL: Rafters): 3-for-3, 2 R, BB, 3 SB. Ultra-athletic sleeper in Cardinals system; inablility to play center likely casts him as future bench outfielder.
  • Johermyn Chavez, OF, Mariners (VZ: Navegantes): 2-for-4, HR (2), R, RBI, BB, 2 K. Showing patience and hitting ability away from High Desert; size and power should work in any park.
  • Jarrod Dyson, OF, Royals (PR: Senadores): 3-for-5, R, CS. Royals could use an every day center fielder, Dyson is seen more as a future provider of speed and defense off the bench.
  • Eduardo Escobar, SS, White Sox (AFL: Sagauros): 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K. The more scouts see him, the more there is too like with plus defense and enough hitting ability to play every day.
  • Conor Gillaspie, 3B, Giants (AFL: Scorpions): 4-for-4, 2 HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI. Lack of power is what keeps scouts from seeing him as a big league third baseman; one two-homer game isn't going to change that.
  • Josh Harrison, 2B/OF, Pirates (AFL: Solar Sox): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI, SB. 13-for-19 in last four games with five doubles, two triples and a home run; very small, but can really hit.
  • Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds (AFL: Saguaros): 2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB, 2 K. Could compete in spring training for a big league job.
  • Carlos Perez, LHP (DOM: Tigres): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Nope, not the Braves prospect, but rather the 39-year-old former Expo and Dodgers. Ain't life grand?
  • Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers (VZ: Navegantes): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Good news for Rangers fans!
  • Ben Revere, OF, Twins (AFL: Saguaros): 3-for-6, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K, SB. Hitting .411 and a perfect 8-for-8 in the stolen base department; will be interesting to see how much big league time he gets in '11.
  • Mark Trumbo, 1B, Angels (VZ: Navegantes): 3-for-3, 2 HR (4), 2 R, 6 RBI, BB. Hitting .345/.422/.673 in 15 games; league leader in total bases will get long look in spring.
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dsher84
10/29
I think I'm getting a little to excited about the potential for Derek Norris to be his generation's Mickey Tettleton.
jcjohnson
10/29
What's keeping Norris' defensive ceiling at "acceptable"? Poor instincts behind the plate? Just not showing as much progress as would be expected? I thought he was a reasonably good athlete, and hoped that with another two years experience he could become an average defensive catcher.
Clooch14
10/29
Just to add on to Johnson's post, Norris' caught stealing numbers are decent and seem to be perfectly acceptable. Is it just his receiving skills? Does he call a poor game? Does he have trouble blocking balls in the dirt? Seems like every negative report I see on Norris' defense is equally vague and lack detail. I would like to be sure that it isn't just reports from two years ago being caught up in the internet echo chamber and taken for truth. Are these defensive reports coming from scouts this year? Has he improved in the last two years?
kgoldstein
10/29
Receiving is very rough. Scout noted that he was constantly handcuffing balls and missed 4-5 outright. Yesterday. Not two years ago. That's about as recent a report as you can get.
jcjohnson
10/29
If I recall, he had a ton of passed balls at Harrisburg. I read about some improvement last season at Potomac. What I don't understand is whether this is something he can't ever learn, or something he just needs time to learn.
Clooch14
10/29
That's exactly what I wanted to know. Definitely wasn't accusing you of any of that, I love reading your daily reports. Was just pointing out that we rarely hear specifics on his defense, above and beyond the caveat that always comes just after descriptions of his hitting superlatives. I wanted to make sure this hasn't just become conventional wisdom based on people repeating what they had heard other people repeat. From something they heard repeated somewhere else.... etc.
demgrinder
10/29
How has Jared Mitchell been looking since coming back from that ankle injury?
Infrancoeurgible
10/30
At the very least, the peripherals aren't pretty: 45 ABs .200/.280/.267 5 BB, 13 Ks in 13 games.
jeffr92
10/31
That's not really surprising given the long layoff. The real question is how his ankle is holding up, and whether he's lost any of his speed.
dantroy
10/29
Did you hear any reports about Martin Perez's velocity?
Hyldan
10/29
So, Conor Gillaspie improved his HR output from 4 to 8 going from a generous offensive ballpark (San Jose) to a tough one (Richmond). It's not a big transformation, and he certainly doesn't look like he's ever going to be a big power hitting threat, but it seems like real improvement. Would I be remiss in hoping for a poor man's Bill Mueller?
davelamb
10/29
So you're hoping for David Bell?
BillJohnson
10/29
Is Adron Chambers really "unable" to play CF? He played there at the AA level, and while his range was average at best, it wasn't Vladimir Guerrero-level bad. Or were you just referring to the fact that the Cardinals have a pretty good young center fielder already?
kgoldstein
10/29
Scouts I talked to weren't as positive as you.
BillJohnson
10/30
Fair enough, and I will defer to the scouts.
dcj207
10/29
Aren't *any* Orioles prospects playing in the AFL?
crperry13
10/29
Wondering the same thing about the Astros, but since I was afraid of the answer, I didn't ask.
kringent
10/29
Not too parse all of this too finely, but I'm encouraged by the Mesoraco report. Wasn't he looking really tired a few days ago? Or is it just that there's still a big gap between his offensive and defensive game?
onegameref
10/29
Does Escobar look like the real thing? Maybe they can reinstall Beckham at 3B, Ramirez at 2B and the kid at short. Seems like a good defensive and offensive alignment. Put Flowers or Viciedo at 1B. I know it lacks veteran pop but there is some upside potential.
slash1001
10/30
Over a week of fall ball reporting and, unless I've missed it, not a single mention of an Astros farmhand. We are going to be wandering the desert for a long, long time.
kgoldstein
10/30
The Astros did not send an impressive group to Arizona. It's going to be hard for guys like Koby Clemens and J.B. Shuck to make the dailies, and Jay Austin is hitting a ripe .150.