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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 92: Ben Norman

Age, unfortunately, might work against this lefty outfielder

Ben Norman brought a strong all-around game into the White Sox system in 2022.

Ben Norman

Right Fielder
200 pounds
Age: 25
2022 High Level Winston-Salem (High-A)
Age relative to high level +1.5 years
SSS rank among all right fielders in the system 5
Overall 2022 regular season stats 63 games ⚾️ 10 HR ⚾️ 33 RBI ⚾️ .246/.323/.438 ⚾️ 7-of-9 SB ⚾️ 25 BB ⚾️ 79 K

Ben Norman played a solid five seasons of college ball at the University of Iowa, where he slashed .271/.373./.424 with a .797 OPS in 220 games. He also owned a respectable 17.7 % K-rate and 11.4% walk rate. Defensively, Norman is average, with a below-average arm. He is a plus runner, however, stealing 46 bags at the NCAA level. Norman was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection and ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-Midwest Region honoree in his final season with the Hawkeyes.

Norman went undrafted in 2021 but wasn’t going to give up on his dream over a 20-round draft, so he split his summer between the Trenton Thunder in the MLB Draft League and our old friend, the Great Falls Voyagers in the independent Pioneer League. Norman hit a combined .338/.422/.640 with 71 RBIs and six stolen bases in 256 plate appearances. He demonstrated some surprising power as well, hitting 15 home runs — only two fewer than the 15 total he hit during his five years of playing college ball.

The White Sox signed Norman as a free agent to a minor league contract on Nov. 21, 2021, and assigned him to the Arizona Complex League (ACL) for 2022. Well older than league average, Norman tuned up at Camelback by playing in only five games there and tearing the cover off of the ball: .421/450/.737 with a 1.187 OPS. On June 18 the Sox promoted him to the Winston-Salem Dash, the High-A team in the South Atlantic League, where he didn’t fare as well offensively, hitting only .229/.312/.410 with a .722 OPS in 58 games. However, he again showed some pop in his bat, smacking nine home runs for an above-average ISO of .181. Norman also exhibited solid defense, committing no errors in 35 games in right field and only one in 25 games in left.

Norman’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 87
Speed 77
XBH 72
Power 70
RBIs 62
Hitting 59
Runs 55
Contact 53
Team Winning Percentage .549

You would expect this for a guy playing well older than league average, but Norman was a dominant player in the system last year, with better than average ratings in all aspects of the game.

While the Sox can undoubtedly benefit from a lefty outfield power bat in their system, Norman’s age works against him. He will be 25 years old at the start of the 2023 season, and only age will justify him sliding up to the Double-A Birmingham Barons out of the gate. It’s tough to envision him making significant enough progress to contribute to the big league club anytime soon, but his pop, and all-around skills on the field, could qualify him as a late bloomer.

2023 South Side Sox Top 104 White Sox Prospects

92. Ben Norman, RF
93. Erick Bello, RHRP
94. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
95. Arnold Prado, RF
96. Alsander Womack, 2B
97. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
98. Evan Skoug, C
99. Noah Owen, RHSP
100. Javier Mora, 2B
101. Will Kincanon, RHRP
102. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
103. Billy Seidl, RHRP
104. José Rodulfo, RHRP