Norman Caes

From BR Bullpen

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Biographical Information[edit]

Norman Caes had a long career in Belgium's First Division and was on the Belgian national team.

He was with Belgium in the 1984 World Junior Championship. 1988 is the first season for which Belgian stats are available (as of June 4, 2020). He hit .277/.463/.370 for the Mortsel Stars that year, with 47 runs and 38 walks in 162 plate appearances. He was 7-2 with a 5.40 ERA and fielded .902. He led the league in walks (by 2) and was 4th in runs, in between Peter Van Walraven and Ronald Tiliakos. He tied Frank Mathys for 3rd and Paul Spoelders for 3rd in wins and was 7th with 66 batters fanned. In '89, he slumped to .157/.301/.289, fielding .917 and going 3-1 with a 5.00 ERA and 50 walks in 63 innings pitched.

Caes struggled in 1990 at 0-7, 10.17 with 49 walks and 87 hits in 48 2/3 IP; he had the 3rd-highest ERA among qualifiers and was second in losses. He batted .219/.400/.391 and fielded .920. For the 1991 Stars, he did somewhat better (1-12, 7.34, 89 BB in 88 1/3 IP), fielded .880 and hit .211/.367/.263. He led the league in losses (two ahead of Johnny Peerens), was second in walks (18 behind Peerens) and was 3rd with 133 runs allowed.

In 1992, he improved to 7-5, 7.05, fielded .919 and produced at a .280/.426/.307 clip. He was 5th in walks drawn (19, tied with Roger de Saedeleer), tied for 3rd in wins (trailing Van Walraven and former major leaguer Joel McKeon) and issued the most walks (59). The next season, he hit .235/.391/.255, fielded .848 and did not pitch as much (2-2, 7.09). He made Belgium's squad for the 1993 European Championship, going 0 for 1 with a run scored. In 2/3 of an inning, he allowed a walk, a hit and two runs. He had the team's highest ERA, double Frank Van Droogenbroeck.

Norman hit better in 1994 (.320/.450/.464, 29 R, 29 RBI), fielded better (.948) and pitched better (5-2, 4.66). He tied Van Walraven and Brent Deremer for 8th in wins. In '95, he hit .205/.427/.294 with 26 walks (6th in the league). He fielded .833 and went 2-4 with a 7.37 ERA. He was 4-1 with a 5.34 ERA for Mortsel in 1996 and was down to 22 walks in 59 innings. He finished 5th in ERA. He was seeing less time off the mound, going 7 for 24 with 6 walks and a triple.

Caes was incredible in limited batting chances in 1997 (14 for 26, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 8 BB) and he was 2-0 despite a 9.69 ERA. In '98, he had a 4-3, 9.59 record and hit .296/.381/.384, fielding .865 and batting regularly for the first time in three years. He batted .259/.400/.400 in 1999, fielded .968 and was hit hard (1-3, 12.89). In 2000, he pitched much better (10-0, 5.08), but did not bat much (9 for 25, 3 2B, HR, 6 BB, 4 HBP). He led the league in wins (two ahead of Alwin Van Maanen) and was 3rd in ERA. The Stars won the title while he was their ace hurler.

The right-hander fell to 3-1, 6.56 in 2001 and hit .333/.529/.566. He batted .240/.348/.333 in '02, fielded .932 and was 7-8 with a 4.58 ERA. He led the league in IP (129 2/3) and complete games (14, 2 ahead of Terence Antonacci), was 5th in ERA, tied for 4th in wins and tied for 3rd in losses. During 2003, he had a 5-1, 4.17 record for the Antwerp Royal Greys (in his only year outside Mortsel), tying for 5th in victories. He was 7 for 39 with 10 walks and two doubles. He did not play from 2004-2009 then the old-timer came back to go 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA for Mortsel. He was 2-1 with a 8.14 ERA in 2012, going 3 for 16 on offense. He finally ended up in 2014. He had gone 64-53 from 1988-2014.

Primary Source: Belgian Baseball Federation