Norris’ change is thrown pretty hard, sitting at 86 mph, and gets good depth. This thing really dives, and in turn, gets a terrific whiff rate at almost 38%. He uses the change solely to attack righties and peppers them low and away, arm-side.
Norris has a big, slow 12-6 curve that sits at 76 mph. It gets great depth, but a below-average amount of whiffs for a curve is probably because hitters can see it coming as it pops out of Norris’ hand, so they’re ready for it. Even still, it’s tough to square up, allowing a .330 wOBA.
Norris predominantly uses a four-seamer (44% usage) that sits 90-91 mph, which is not great. It has average ride and run and gets fairly average whiff rates (13%). He could probably benefit from reducing the usage a bit, considering it gives up a .415 wOBA and average exit velocity over 92 mph. It’s not good when they hit it harder than you throw it.
The slider is Norris’ go-to breaking ball, using it 23% of the time and willing to throw it to both lefties and righties. It sits in the mid-80s with average break. Norris works the slider low in the zone and buries it to the arm-side when it’s at its best. It has a good whiff rate (30%) and allows a sparkling .253 wOBA. He could probably throw this a little more.
Norris was injured for most of 2018, so he would most likely appreciate us burning his tape from last season. You can see how his injury affected him through his velocity, as he normal fires his four-seamer at a max of 96 mph, and the highest it reached in 2018 was 92.9 mph. Get healthy, Daniel.
It is weird to say that an injury might have helped a player, but the lack of velocity also showed on Norris’ slider, and it had a positive effect. He gained more movement both vertically and horizontally, which led to the highest K rate of his career with his slider.
2017 was Norris’ most effective year with his curveball, and while it was a small sample size, his 2018 was similar. Hopefully, this trend can continue if he is healthy in 2019.
Norris’ arm action on his changeup and four-seamer are almost identical, which helps this pitch’s effectiveness. Hitters are expecting a 96 mph heater but instead get a 10 mph difference. It gets a fair amount of strikeouts (24.7% K rate over his career) and rarely gets taken deep (one home run allowed in his career).
Norris has been on and off with this pitch throughout his career. In 2015, he threw his two-seamer over 200 times and only allowed a .191 batting average when throwing it; in 2016, it got rocked for a .571 batting average; in 2017, he did not throw it once; and in 2018, he brought it back, but the sample size was so minuscule that it is tough to get a gauge on what the pitch’s true potential is.