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Nationals minor matters

Nationals Director of Player Development Doug Harris dropped by Nationals Park yesterday, and as always he graciously shared some insight and information on the Nats farm system.

*Class A Potomac catcher Derek Norris, widely rated as the best position player prospect in the Nats system, is in extended spring training in Viera, Fla., rehabbing from lingering soreness after hamate bone surgery this offseason.

The soreness has finally left, and the Nationals are trying to get Norris prepared for playing every day, "jamming a bunch of at-bats down his throat," Harris said; he likened Norris's current regiment to a kind of "mini-camp."

Norris has "responded very well" to the volume of at-bats and the Nationals want to get him back to playing in games "as fast as physically possible," Harris said. He hopes Harris will return to Potomac inside of two weeks.

"If I just jinxed him," Harris said to me, smiling, "I'm coming after you."

*Class A Hagerstown's Justin Bloxom is tied with Destin Hood for the batting lead in the Nationals system with a .337 average, and his .883 OPS is actually 80 points higher than Hood's. Bloxom, 22, has "the most advanced approach on that team," Harris said.

"He's a consummate professional," Harris said. "He loves to play the game. He's got a steely focus. He absorbs information and translates it on the field. He's not as gifted a tools player as other guys, but he gets the most out of his ability. He'll do anything you ask."

*Hood, 20, has also made Hagerstown go. "That's a fun team, man," Harris said. "They're a scrappy group." Hood lost 20 pounds this offseason, Harris said, and became a father.

"You could see a urgency and focus in his eyes," Harris said. "He's a great kid."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 6, 2010; 12:39 PM ET
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Norris is really, really needed at this point in Potomac. You look up and down their roster and you see Lombardozzi and Burgess as prospects and not much else. They've struggled offensively and they really need a shot of energy, and hopefully Norris will provide that when he comes back.

Hagerstown has been a good story for the organization and hopefully we're starting to put the dark days of the 2006 draft behind us.

Posted by: souldrummer | May 6, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

from an earlier post:
"We can only hope that the Lerners didn't permanently poison the well. Sometimes even late blooming winners draw flies, look at Tampa.
Posted by: Kev29 | May 6, 2010 7:27 AM"
That's it! That's what we need! More cowbell!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 6, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Hood lost 20 pounds this offseason, Harris said, and became a father."


That's a big baby. Must have been a lot of water weight, too?

If you don't like that line how about this:

"Hood lost 20 pounds this offseason, Harris said, and became a father."

Harris said that, and became a father, just like that? Maybe TMI.....

Posted by: fischy | May 6, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope the Bloxom doesn't come off the rose any times soon...

Bloxom and jetsam.

Posted by: fischy | May 6, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Just curious, going back to the lat post for a minute.

I read plenty of "I'm not renewing my season tickets because..."

Those of you who canceled your season tix, do you ever get a followup from the team asking why? I thought a lot of the comments in the previous post might be something the team should hear. I just wonder if they do that. Do the Lerners know a lot of people can't stand the noise level?

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 6, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I'll add to gilbertbp's the following question:

Those of you who said you were going to cancel your season tickets:
1. Did you actually have season tickets?
2. If so, did you actually cancel them?

It's clear alot of STH's didn't renew -- since the number is probably down to 7-9,000. And gilbert is right to wonder whether the team made a concerted effort to find out why. Certainly ex-STH's ought to be their first calls for next year once The Savior is on board.

Posted by: Section222 | May 6, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I missed the prior discussion, but I'll agree that the Nats dial up the volume way too loud. My gf's kids don't want to go to the game if the Nats might hit some home runs because of the overdone fireworks right overhead. As for the canned noise, it seems designed to be really loud in all corners of the stadium regardless of the fact that this means it's intolerable in certain parts of the park. Either the team finds a way to set up more speakers and tone down the volume, or they should just tone down the volume. I grew up a Mets fan, but I always found Yankee Stadium more enjoyable because Shea had all this insanely loud, artificial noise -- and I don't mean the airplanes.

Posted by: fischy | May 6, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

When I didn't renew my season tickets they did ask me why and I explained that I could buy the same tickets for nearly the same price anytime I wanted, including right before the game, but wouldn't have to worry about waste when I couldn't give them away.

Posted by: Section506 | May 6, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Canceling tickets because of noise? Gee, I thought it was beacuse of two straight 100 + loss seasons.

Better get a plan in 2011. Those (these?) days will soon be gone.

Sec 204 Row K Seat 7 (STH since '05)

Posted by: adhardwick | May 6, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Mike Rizzo seemed impressed with Michael Burgess. Mentioned his progress when the right field situation came up.

Posted by: periculum | May 6, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

section 402 rules!

Posted by: chillsonic | May 6, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like noise, forget going to a Capitals game!

Posted by: dmacman88 | May 6, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, the noise level really irritates my wife (along with the constant ads and Clint), leading me to go to far fewer games that I'd like. It's actually really hard to find people to go to games with.

Posted by: cassander | May 6, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

. . . likened Norris's current regiment to a kind of "mini-camp."

Derek Norris has his own army? [Golly.]

Posted by: Ted_Striker | May 6, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but they use very, very small tents.

So it's more cute than threatening.

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 6, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I got your cowbell right here:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 6, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a STH (we've always put together our own "mini plans"). I do find the loud stadium music objectionable, however.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 6, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Earplug night? I'd go.

Posted by: Scooter_ | May 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The first 10,000 fans will receive earplugs in Nats red. The other fans will receive referrals to a good audiologist. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 6, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, one of my biggest turn-offs there are the too-cool-for-school fans who don't make any noise louder than talking on their phones while they're there (I'm not objecting to the phones, I'm just saying). But maybe that's just generational-cultural, and I'm a leather-lunged geezer.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 6, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

One of ... is.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 6, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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