The Orioles 2nd round pick in the 2021 draft, Norby comes in as the #9 prospect after hitting more home runs than anyone in the system.
Age (as of Jun 30th) : 22
2022 Level: A+/AA/AAA
Tools (current/future value)
Game Power: 50/60
Raw Power: 50/60
Most Likely Future Role: Everyday Left fielder
Ceiling: 1st Division Left fielder or 2nd Division Second baseman
What we know: Nobody took a bigger step forward power wise then the 22-year old Norby did, smacking 29 bombs between three levels in the system. He started the year in the tough hitting environment at Aberdeen slashing just .237/.311/.425/.736 with a 23.9% K% and just a 8.6% BB%. Despite the struggles, the Orioles promoted him to AA on June 28th and instead of struggling with the better competition, he absolutely took off with the bat. After not homering in his first 12 AA games, Norby hit two homers in game one of a double header on July 14th, starting one amazing heater that saw him hit 21 home runs while slashing .310/.393/.629/1.022 over his next 285 PAs in 61 games between AA and AAA. Norby has power to all fields allowing him to put up an impressive .274 ISO with a 26.4% Line drive rate at AA, and a .359 ISO and 21.2% LD rate in AAA. His strikeout % dropped and his FB rate improved as he moved up the chain this season. He doesn’t have a noticeable platoon difference and actually hit RHB slightly better than lefties last year.
Defensively, Norby is not going to provide much value at second base. While he showed improvements in limiting his throwing errors, he still struggles to get his feet under him well and is inconsistent. His range is suspect and he turns the double play a bit slow. He just never looks real smooth out there, but if a team is willing to put up with the below average defense, the bat should play well for the position. He did play 11 games in left field including 8 starts.
What we don’t know: Did he just totally blossom as the weather heated up or was he just on a crazy heater? While he was expected to have pop, we’re not sure anyone saw almost 30 home run power. Where is his future defensively on the diamond?
What we think: The Orioles could give him some spring training PAs in 2023, but he’ll most likely head back to AAA where if he hits like he did from mid-summer on, he will not be down in the minors for too long. Considering he runs pretty well and his arm could play up in the outfield, a move to left field might be worth giving a shot. If he could become an adequate corner outfielder, it could add to his value since most scouts seem to think he needs to move from 2B to maximize his value.