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3/2/1985 (31 y, 11 m, 24 d)
2006 June Amateur Draft - Round: 6, Pick: 23, Overall: 189, Team: Houston Astros
$0.2M / 1 Years (2017)
Norris agreed to a minor league deal with the Angels on Monday that includes an invitation to spring training, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports. (1/30/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Norris received a late-July call-up from the Astros, and impressed early on. In his first two starts, he pitched 13 innings, tallying 13.0 innings, 12 strikeouts, and just 2 earned runs, which raised some eyebrows. Norris also had nine walks in these two starts, but he still gained attention around baseball with those early performances. He didn't impress quite as much the rest of the way, however, as he finished with a 4.53 ERA and 4.77 FIP, mostly thanks to a 1.46 HR/9, partially thanks to high line-drive and fly-ball rates, and partially thanks to an above-average 12.9 HR/FB rate. His K/9 and BB/9 rates in the Majors were very similar to his Triple-A rates.
The Year Ahead:
Don't expect Norris to keep his peripheral numbers at the level that they were against minor league hitters. He will probably walk more batters and strike out fewer. The effect on his ERA could possibly be negated by a decline in home runs allowed, however. We could even see a drop in his ERA if his BABIP falls, as his .327 BABIP was above the league norm. Norris's stuff is encouraging, as he is a hard thrower – his 94.0 mph average fastball velocity ranks very favorably among starters. The big question for Norris is: Can he can continue to rack up the strikeouts against Major League hitters? (Jack Moore)
Norris continued to show potential in his second year as a Major Leaguer, although that potential couldn't quite show itself in the form of results just yet. Despite striking out over a batter per inning, he allowed a 4.92 ERA, due to the dangerous combination of a high walk rate (4.5 BB/9) and a high BABIP (.326). The chained effects of allowing more hits and a high amount of baserunners resulted in an ERA three quarters of a run higher than his 4.17 FIP. Norris struggled with walks in the minors as well, so a quick remedy in that department is unlikely. However, with only 209 innings under his belt, we know next to nothing about his true-talent BABIP. His .327 career BABIP is the driving factor behind his 4.82 career ERA. With a BABIP closer to .300, we'd probably expect an ERA closer to 4.10. If you must, err on the side of caution, and expect an ERA slightly higher than average and few wins behind the horrid Astros offense. However, as with the last two seasons, the strikeouts will be there, and so in deeper or NL-only leagues, Norris should have some value. (Jack Moore)
The Quick Opinion:
Bud Norris is a strikeout machine, but the rest of his game isn't there yet. He has potential, but his fantasy value is restricted to deep or NL-only leagues.
Was last season the breakout saber-nerds have been waiting for? Norris traded fewer strikeouts for fewer walks last season, en route to his strongest season in the majors. Even with the reduced strikeouts, Norris posted a solid 8.52 strikeouts per nine last season. His slider is a thing of beauty, and continues to wreak havoc on hitters. Home runs, however, will always be a problem for Norris -- his 40.6% ground ball rate isn’t going to do him any favors in that park. Still, 2011 was a pretty big step forward for Norris, and he looks like a strong breakout candidate next season if he can keep the walks down. (Chris Cwik)
The Quick Opinion:
Norris posted strong strikeout numbers, got his walks under control and could pitch 200+ innings for the first time in his career in 2012. He also flies under the radar because he plays for the Astros. Sounds like the ideal sleeper candidate next season.
Norris has provided above-average strikeout numbers since breaking into the big leagues in 2009. That continued last season with an 8.82 strikeout rate and a 10.4% swinging-strike rate. The real issue is that success doesn't extend to his run prevention due to the fact that his walk rate (3.53 BB/9) and home run rate (1.23 HR/9) are both worse-than-average amongst starting pitchers. A bigger concern for fantasy owners may be that his velocity has steadily declined over his four big league seasons -- from 94.0 mph with his fastball in 2009 to only 91.8 mph in 2012 -- and could be a product of his heavy reliance on his slider. He never really developed a third pitch, and a move to the American League is also worrisome. He could be useful for fantasy owners who need strikeouts, but be prepared to sacrifice in some other categories. (JP Breen)
The Quick Opinion:
A solid source of strikeouts, Norris will have to lower his walk and home run rates before he becomes truly valuable to fantasy owners. Without a third pitch, he may never be the top-end option that his swinging strikes suggest he could become.
Norris has posted a sub-four ERA just once in the past five seasons, and in that same span, has yet to post a WHIP below 1.33. There are two things he does well -- gets strikeouts and handles righties. He has limited righties to a .307 weight on-base average and has struck out 23% of those he has faced from 2009 to 2013, but lefties have a .351 wOBA against him. Norris's changeup isn't good enough against lefties, so he relies mostly on his fastball and slider against them while keeping them honest with show-me changeups and cutters. 2013 was his worst season against lefties as they hit .315/.381/.509 against him in 448 plate appearances and 16 of his 17 home runs allowed came against lefties. Matt Holliday was the only right-handed batter to homer against Norris last year, and Norris allowed that one bomb in 325 plate appearances to righties. This, after allowing 24 in his previous 753 plate appearances to righties. There has been some talk about Norris possibly taking over the closer role in Baltimore now that Jim Johnson is gone and Grant Baflour failed the team physical. The splits Norris displays do not make him a demonstrably better candidate than Tommy Hunter, but perhaps his stuff would play up in a relief role to where his splits would not be as drastic as they currently are. (Jason Collette)
The Quick Opinion:
There has been some talk about Norris possibly taking over the closer role in Baltimore now that Jim Johnson is gone and Grant Baflour failed the team physical. The splits Norris displays do not make him a demonstrably better candidate than Tommy Hunter, but perhaps his stuff would play up in a relief role to where his splits would not be as drastic as they currently are.
Many have called 2014 a breakout season for Bud Norris, as he amassed a career high 15 wins and managed a career low 3.65 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. But it doesn't take a whole lot of drilling down to see that if you liked Bud Norris last year, then you probably should have liked Bud Norris the Astro. His career FIP sits at 4.13 and his 2014 campaign registered a 4.22 FIP -- and while he did manage to walk fewer batters in Oriole orange than his career would predict, he also posted a fairly pedestrian strikeout rate of 20.2%. Still, it's worth noting that he had a pretty fantastic second half to the season, posting a 3.27 ERA (3.59 FIP) with almost a 25% strikeout rate while holding opponents to a .247/.314/.390 slash line. Some of this success might be attributable to increased confidence in and effectiveness from his changeup, which had been torched in the recent past. In 2014, it was his second-best pitch by way of pitch values, and provided him with a solid option versus left-handed batters where there historically wasn't much in his bag of tricks. Norris also flashed the fastball he had as a rookie, with his average fastball sitting at 93.4 mph, a four-year high -- and in fact, his last start of the year averaged almost 95 mph. Because of the velocity, command, and reconstituted changeup, he enters 2015 as a curious candidate for your squad who won't likely cost much in dollars or rounds. (
The Quick Opinion:
Bud Norris enjoyed one of his better seasons as a major leaguer, but the most encouraging part of his year was the particularly strong second half where he found his fastball and ultimately found more strikeouts. It's hard to rely on season splits, but if second half Norris comes out of the gate in April, you'll be wishing you had him on your squad.
Despite appearing strictly in a relief role with the Padres last year, prior to being signed to San Diego, Norris started 11 games — plus seven bullpen appearances — with the Orioles. The right-hander can still miss bats, as he's posted a whiff rate north of 9.5% in six of his seven years, yet his tendency to walk a few too many batters make him no better than a stream option in standard leagues. Deeper formats like 14-teamers or of course NL-only leagues should take a late round chance on Norris. He brings more risk than the normal 31-year-old, given he hasn't been a full time starter since 2014. (David Wiers)
The Quick Opinion:
While the Braves traded for a number of young hurlers this past year, the team still opted to sign Bud Norris to a one-year deal in late November. The soon to be 31-year-old is slated to step into the rotation even though his 20 most recent appearances came in relief.
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Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 3:34 AM ET
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