Skip to content

Q&A with Derek Norris

Feb 25, 2010, 10:57 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After a breakthrough 2009, Derek Norris is enjoying his first big-league camp.

VIERA, Fla. — In only 2 1/2 years since getting drafted by the Nationals (fourth round, 2005) out of high school, Derek Norris has blossomed into one of baseball's top catching prospects. And after a breakout year at low-Class A Hagerstown in 2009, in which he slugged 23 homers with 84 RBI while posting a .413 on-base percentage, Norris finds himself perhaps on a faster track to the big leagues than anyone initially thought possible.

Having just turned 21 two weeks ago, Norris is enjoying his first spring in major-league camp. And though he has no legitimate shot at making the Opening Day roster, his arrival may not be that far away, perhaps sometime in 2011.

In the meantime, the Kansas native is trying to soak in as much of the experience as possible, learning a few pointers from Ivan Rodriguez, developing a rapport with fellow prospect Stephen Strasburg and trying to leave a lasting impression on club officialsRead more »

  1. SonnyG10 - Feb 25, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Good interview, Mark, I didn't know much about Derek Norris and I find it interesting that he has struggled behind the plate. Hopefully he can significantly improve his defense.

  2. markfd - Feb 26, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    Thanks for taking the time to speak to and profile prospects like Norris. I made it down to Viera this evening and should be over at camp tomorrow morning.

  3. Positively Half St. - Feb 26, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Compliments to Norris for playing it straight with you in an interview. He realizes what he needs to work on, and proves he wants to improve. He did not show Ivan the least disrespect, but honestly admitted that he is mostly below the older catcher's radar at this point.He needs to know we are behind him. We need strong prospects, and especially strong catching options.

  4. Anonymous - Feb 26, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    Gr8 Interview Thanks Mark…If you're looking for ideas I think it'd be interesting for you to interview some of the lesser known top prospects like Destin Hood, Eury Perez, Paul Demny, etc…

  5. NattyLite - Feb 26, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    catchers mature later than other players…just take your time, in the NL the 8 spot you can afford to take a hit. 2011 at the earliest for norris. a good hitting catcher can make you a better team in the AL, in the NL it can make you a front runner.

  6. Chuckles - Feb 26, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Good stuff, Mark.Question: Is Norris' progress more impressive considering he didn't play college? I can imagine being a high school-turned-pro catcher is more difficult. Also, does he call his own games?

  7. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 26, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Chuckles: I'd say it's impressive that he's developed so quickly, considering he was drafted out of high school in 2007 and they're already talking about him potentially making his big-league debut in 2011. That said, he's still only slated for high-Class A to open this year, so he's still got a long way to go. But if he can earn a promotion to Class AA by the end of the season, that would put him in line to reach Washington sometime late in 2011.

  8. Anonymous - Mar 1, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    That right Deer is all about a kid thats been taught to respect his Elders, and The Game of Baseball!!! xEELLLL, xDattts Huge!!!!

  9. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    I almost find this last comment humorous. Anyone knows that gifted athletes in a game are cocky, arrogant, and self-righteous; and Derek Norris is no different. He is a completely different player on a big league bench then when he's where he belongs, in single A. Yes he put up great numbers last year but the real question is how much is the upper levels going to be able to put up with a catcher that leads the league in worst defensive numbers. Its common knowledge that you make it to the bigs being a catcher with great defense not one with a single hot year with a bat.

  10. Viagra Online - Sep 15, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Derek Norris is one of my boyfriend's favorites players he is really good and we've went to some of his games he's amazing and he will be so famous in some years.Generic Viagra Buy Viagra





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter