Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Royals Interested In Bud Norris?

According to a report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports (KC Norris?), the Royals are believed to have interest in Houston Astros starter Bud Norris. Norris who is arbitration eligible is under team control for three more seasons and will make close to 2.9 million in 2013.

My Thoughts:

Norris who is 28, has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career.  He as also shown a lot of flashes of being mediocre or below average.  However, I am a pretty big fan of Bud Norris.  Throughout his career (minor/major), he has averaged 8.83 K/9.  So far in his 4 year stint in the majors he has had a K/9 over 8.60  in 3 out of 4 of those seasons.  Norris is a fly ball pitcher but also gets a fair amount of ground balls as well.  Norris's career FB% is 39.5% while his career GB% is 40.2%.  According to Fangraphs the league average FB% is 36% while the league average GB% is 44%.  

According to Park Factors Kauffman Stadium, in 2008-2011 had a park factor of -92 which means that:  
This means that in the years 2008-2011, Kauffman Stadium produced 104 runs for every 100 runs produced in the average MLB park, and 80 HRs for every 100 homers, for a mean Park Factor of 92.
Kauffman continues to be a flyball pitcher's park.
Also according to Park Factors Minute Maid in 2008-2011 had a park factor of +103 which translates to:

This means that in the years 2008-2011, Minute Maid Park produced 96 runs for every 100 runs produced in the average MLB park, and 110 HRs for every 100 homers, for a mean Park Factor of 103. 
 This park plays close to neutral, but has nearly the opposite affect on flyball pitchers as does Kauffman Stadium.
So when looking at these factors, Kauffman plays as more of a flyball pitcher's park than does Minute Maid.  Somewhat oddly, given his flyball tendencies, Norris struggled on the road last season and was very good at Minute Maid.  While Kauffman stadium doesn't have a ton of foul territory, it has more than the ballpark down in Houston, which only would lead us to be more optimistic regarding Norris.

After digging into Bud Norris' numbers more extensively I think Norris would be a good fit for Kauffman Stadium assuming Kauffman plays at the pitcher's park it has in the past.  I don't know what the asking price would be of the Astros from the Royals, but if we could trade some of our lower-mid level prospect/prospects for him, I think I would take a gamble and hope his fly ball numbers translate well to Kauffman.


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