Rising up: Patrick Norris
Patrick Norris, 2007 Harrisonburg Turk alum, was signed with the Kansas City Royals in the 16th round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Patrick was born in Pensacola, Florida. He was an outfielder for the NAIA powerhouse, Oklahoma City University Stars. Patrick was only with the Turks for a few weeks before being drafted, but really impressed fans, coaches and players in the Valley League with his great speed on the base paths.
Patrick split his rookie season with the Burlington Bees and the Idaho Falls Chukars. He finished second in the Appalachian League in walks and stolen bases. He also finished fourth in runs scored. He finished his rookie year with a batting average of .285, 30 stolen bases, and 68 hits.
Patrick believes that summer baseball such as that in the Valley Baseball League is very important for a player looking to move up to the next level. “It is a perfect opportunity to adjust to using a wooden bat which is completely different from using a metal bat like players use in college ball.” According to Patrick, “a player gains the opportunity from the summer ball season to experience what it feels like to play professionally by playing every day and also using the wood bat.”
When asked about the Valley League, Patrick said, “The competition level was great. It actually was not too much different from what I saw last year during my rookie season.” He went on to say how great his experience was with the Turks for the short time he was here. “Bob and Teresa were awesome and took care of the players.” “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience before I ventured into the professional baseball world.” We wish Patrick the best in his future in baseball.