Player Profile: Bud Norris

The Astros will be counting on Bud Norris to continue to improve as a pitcher in 2012. Norris has shown flashes of brilliance but has yet to find consistency. Could this be the season that Norris puts it all together?

David Stefan (Bud) Norris was a sixth round draft pick in 2006 and arrived in the big leagues in July of 2009. Although his win/loss record has suffered over the last two seasons a closer look at some of the SABRmetric peripherals suggest that Norris has indeed continued to develop. Norris has shown steady improvement in his WHIP, FIP, xFIP, and BAA.

The pitch f/x data also brings to light a couple of interesting tidbits about Bud and his fastball. His average velocity has declined each season and Norris throws a very low percentage of fastballs for a pitcher who strikes out almost one batter per inning. Norris has had a great deal of success with his slider and began to mix in more change-ups last season. I think the change-up is the key to Bud’s success. Norris needs that off-speed pitch to keep hitters off balance. Norris must learn to throw the change-up with confidence to take his game to the next level.

Norris enters his age 27 season as the Astros number 2 or 3 starter. He has plenty of ability but needs to learn to pitch smarter to continue in that role. Norris has a tendency to accumulate a high pitch count early in games. Top of the rotation pitchers are expected to go deeper into games and amass more innings pitched over the course of a season. I think Norris will have to prove himself this season to avoid being knocked down a peg or two. With youngsters like Jordan Lyles, Paul Clemens, and Jarred Cosart waiting in the wings this could be a very important year for Norris.

When he’s not pitching, Norris is an avid golfer. Bud also enjoys sharing through social media and you can follow him on twitter @BudNorris20.

Topics: Astros, Baseball, Bud Norris, Jarred Cosart, Jordan Lyles, Paul Clemens, Sports

Want more from Climbing Tal's Hill?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • Its Gonna Happen

    I’ve noticed his dip in velocity over the past two years (mainly last year), and have wondered if he’s purposely taking a little off to locate his pitches or if he’s actually falling off. I really wish he would develope another pitch because throwing the slider as much as he does could really start taking its toll on his arm.

    I expect Bud to do well this year, and if he does, I could see a lot of teams make an offer for him. Will there be one that the Astros can’t resist?

  • astrosince1975

    The high percentage of sliders and the routinely high pitch count are definitely reasons for concern. That’s why this is an important year for Bud. He also needs to stay healthy to prove his worth going forward.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    I’ve noticed his dip in velocity over the past two years (mainly last year), and have wondered if he’s purposely taking a little off to locate his pitches or if he’s actually falling off. I really wish he would develope another pitch because throwing the slider as much as he does could really start taking its toll on his arm.

    I expect Bud to do well this year, and if he does, I could see a lot of teams make an offer for him. Will there be one that the Astros can’t resist?

  • astrosince1975

    The high percentage of sliders and the routinely high pitch count are definitely reasons for concern. That’s why this is an important year for Bud. He also needs to stay healthy to prove his worth going forward.