Today, I will be introducing a new series which primarily focuses on the underrated professional baseball player in the MLB! Over the course of the next year, we will construct a roster of twenty-five ( 25 ) underrated players that deserve more attention by not only the fans, but by front offices, scouts, and even teammates.
Catcher : Derek Norris of the Oakland Athletics
Derek Norris is currently a professional baseball player in the Oakland Athletics organization. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Nationals, Norris was traded to the Oakland Athletics on December 23rd, 2011 in the Gio Gonzalez deal that sent many young and promising prospects to Oakland for their ace at the time. Derek Norris is known as a brick and cement wall that has the ability to pick off speedy base runners on his knees or standing up.
Although there was a lot of speculation about the young, gifted prospect, once Norris was called-up to the majors for the first time, he began to struggle, and injuries only held him back further from more playing time and an opportunity of a lifetime.
In the 2013 MLB season, Norris hit a respectable .246 batting average along with nine ( 9 ) home runs and thirty ( 30 ) runs batted in. Although, many scouts felt that Norris did not live up to the hype and expectations set in front of him. Therefore, many organizations decided he was not the piece of the puzzle for them ( If "Said" team needed a catcher ). Initially, once Derek Norris was called-up, he was the backup catcher to Kurt Suzuki, who is currently the starting catcher for the Minnesota Twins. Batting .286 this year with ten ( 10 ) homers, forty-seven ( 47 ) runs-batted-in while scoring thirty-five ( 35 ) times, Norris is on fire, being considered as one of the most exciting and talented young players to watch throughout Major League Baseball.
Derek Norris earned a spot on the 2014 American League All-Star squad and made it loud and clear that he was a solid, stable, young backstop that can now deal with the pressure and expectations of the people around him. In edition, some players, coaches and scouts have began to see that Norris resembles Jorge Posada's and Ivan Rodriguez's type of play and versatility.
That wraps up part one of The Underrated Squad, tune back into MLB with Evered for further posts!