Chris Norton

From BR Bullpen

Christopher David Norton

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Chris Norton played in the minor leagues from 1992 to 2000. Though he spent parts of three seasons at the Triple-A level, he never reached the majors.

He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 33rd round of the 1988 amateur draft, but did not make his professional debut until 1992. He played in the Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos systems his first season, hitting .202/.258/.283 with four home runs and 29 RBI for the Burlington Indians (four games), Watertown Indians (one game) and Jamestown Expos (60 games).

He joined the St. Louis Cardinals system in 1993, hitting .229/.326/.361 with no home runs and 11 RBI in 27 games for the AZL Cardinals. In 1994, he upped his performance dramatically, hitting .264/.373/.476 with 26 home runs and 82 RBI in 126 games for the Savannah Cardinals. He led the South Atlantic League in strikeouts (144), finished second in home runs, behind Ruben Rivera's 28, and third in RBI.

In 1995, he hit .287/.425/.534 with 21 home runs and 67 RBI in a season split between the Arkansas Travelers in the Cardinals organization and the independent Lubbock Crickets of the Texas-Louisiana League. In the TXLA, he finished second in walks (75) and strikeouts (87), both times behind Fletcher Thompson. He split 1996 between the Crickets and an affiliated team in 1996--this time the Norwich Navigators in the New York Yankees system--and hit a combined .331/.407/.596 in 98 games. With the Crickets alone, he hit .380 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI.

He spent most of 1997 in the Anaheim Angels system, playing for the Lake Elsinore Storm (37 games), Midland Angels (58 games) and Vancouver Canadians (one game--his first stint at Triple-A) and hitting 28 home runs with 83 RBI. He also played for the Mexico City Tigers that year. 1998 was spent split between the Angels and Florida Marlins organizations. He hit .268/.362/.496 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI in 82 games for Midland, the Portland Sea Dogs.

1999 was arguably the best season of his entire career. That year, he earned Eastern League All-Star honors as he hit .291/.397/.633 with 38 home runs and 97 RBI in only 120 games, averaging one home run every 10.6 at-bats. He paced the loop in home runs and slugging percentage and finished third in OPS (1.030).

He returned to Earth in 2000, however, as he hit .263/.363/.425 with 12 home runs and 64 RBI in his final professional season.