Scottsdale catcher Derek Norris had a big game at the plate Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBIs in Mesa’s 6-5 win over the Scorpions.
Norris is now batting .286. He also scored a run, stole a base (his second of the Arizona Fall League season) and connected on a two-out RBI.
Norris talked to me this week of how his swing had become “free and easy” in Arizona and he was less hesitant at the plate than he felt in Double-A Harrisburg at times this past season.
Zach Walters went 1-for-2 to raise his average to .231. He has been playing a lot at third base, where he lined up Wednesday, after playing shortstop most of the season with Single-A Potomac following his arrival in a trade from Arizona in a trade for Jason Marquis.
Nationals director of player development Doug Harris said the heavy use of Walters at third base is an indication of how versatile a player the Cheyenne, Wyo., product is, and the confidence the organization has in the recent acquisition. It does not appear to be a permanent positional change.
“He is playing third base,” Harris said in a message. “(Walters) can play elsewhere. He is a very good athlete.”
As for first-round draft selection Anthony Rendon, who played third base almost exclusively with Rice University, Harris is not ready to consider giving the top pick time at second base due to Ryan Zimmerman’s presence at third at the big league level.
“I don’t know,” Harris said. “I don’t have enough information to make that judgment at this time.”
Baseball America national writer Aaron Fitt said as good as Rendon is at hitting, and with his glove also showing promise, the sixth overall selection may force the Nationals’ hand at playing him at any position because his bat is so good.
“(Rendon) is a really good defensive thid baseman,” Fitt said. “(The Nationals) have a little bit of time with him, but he will be a fast mover because he is such a polished hitter. Rendon could move quickly. The Nationals may consider seeing how he looks at second base down the road and moving Danny Espinosa to shortstop.
“Rendon is a good enough athlete, he can handle second base. Physically, at 6-foot tall, maybe he fits better (at second base).”