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What the Hell Ever Happened to…Norm Hutchins?

March 26, 2007 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Former Los Angeles Angels prospect Norm Hutchins flamed out because he didn't know the strike zone.
If you have an autographed Norm Hutchins card lying around, I have some bad news: you’re headed back to work tomorrow morning.

How many of you out there remember Norm Hutchins, the switch-hitting outfielder that the Angels grabbed in the second round (40th overall) back in 1994?

Hutchins spent four years on the Angels’ top prospect list (as per Baseball America), enjoying his finest season in 1998 when in just 89 Double-A games, he scored 74 runs, smacked 20 doubles, 10 triples and 10 homers, while swiping 32 bases with a .312 BA. Power, speed, average…and he did it as a 22-year-old.

So what the hell was the problem?

Pretty simple, really. Despite all his raw talent and blazing speed, Hutchins suffered from a complete lack of understanding of the strike zone, a problem that afflicts many young hitters. His BB/K ratio from that season was an ugly 14/84.

Disturbingly enough, however, that line looked good compared to his previous season when Hutchins walked 23 times against 147 strikeouts.

It was a trend that continued and the Angels finally tired of it, sending Hutchins to Colorado in a 2000 trade. After the season, Hutchins was let go and he signed with the Rays as a free agent. He spent one season in the Tampa Bay organization before having to look for work again.

Hutchins’ last stand was an an Expo. Signed as a minor league free agent in January 2002, he was cut from the team near the end of spring training, and that was all she wrote for Hutchins in organized ball.

He spent all or parts of four seasons at Triple-A, but never got the call to the Show, somewhat surprising given his speed. You’d think he could have been a useful pinch runner one September.

At any rate, after getting axxed by the Expos, Hutchins switched to Indy ball, joining Elmira of the Northeast League. He spent the next four years bouncing around the Atlantic League, enjoying some strong years, including an All-Star season in 2005, but he never got another sniff from a big league team.

Now 31, Hutchins spent last season with Bridgeport, and I honestly don’t know if he’ll be back for another kick at the can this year. After batting just .230, slugging only .371 and managing a mere nine steals in 2006, it might be the end of the line for player who was once pegged as a future Angel in the outfield.

Of, and that whole strike-zone judgment thing? Hutchins never did get over it, drawing only 21 walks against 67 Ks last season.

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168 Responses to “What the Hell Ever Happened to…Norm Hutchins?”

  1. RotoRob says:

    WTF? He only lasted on Bridgeport for two weeks? What happened here, Boulder Fan?

  2. Boulder Fan says:

    In 5 games he batted 0.59(1-17)

    This officially ends the 18 year “career” of another sports person.
    Off to work at Footlocker…don’t be late!

    Last post. You may as well close this down….

  3. RotoRob says:

    Hey Boulder Fan,

    Thanks for the update. This was in five games with whom and when exactly?

    Come on! We can’t close the thread… it’s too freaking popular. Besides, it’s not like Norm has died or something. He may still find his way back into the game in a different capacity. Or perhaps life has something else in store for him. Either way, his fans would like to be kept up to date on his current activities.

  4. Sexy lady says:

    We all know that the ladies will always love Norm…baseball or not, doesn’t matter. We love Norm

  5. RotoRob says:

    Hi Sexy Lady,

    I take it you know Norm? If so, what’s he doing these days?

    Glad to hear there are still some ladies that are sweet on him. If you look back at some earlier comments, you will find that wasn’t always the case. One woman claimed that Norm gave her an STD! Hey, we can’t make this shit up!

  6. Not Ur buisness says:

    Roto nerd . Get a life. Whatever he must of done to you was a long time ago. Get over it clown!

  7. RotoRob says:

    He didn’t do anything to us. We simply wrote an article about him and the rest of this craziness involves reader comments/claims/etc. If you take the time to actually read the comments thread, you will see that we have consistently defended Norm and hoped his career would continue and thrive.

  8. Not Ur buisness says:

    I consistently read you bringing up old stuff so people can come back and comment. Btw I didn’t say he must of done something to all of you.. I said you .. Yea you simply started and article that’s bashing him. All of these years and you’re still coming back to this article? Get over it.. He definitely did something to you and you’re are so scared to the point that it is actually pathetic.Enjoy the rest of your sorry life trying to get people to comment on this thing. Peace and god bless you

  9. RotoRob says:

    That’s not true. I never bashed him the article. I simply told the story of his career. Then suddenly it took on a life of his own as all these people jumped on the article and started commenting — some of them with some absolutely crazy stuff. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I found it somewhat entertaining that all these people were arguing on my site. But I never tried to fan the flames or pass judgment. If I harken back to older comments from time to time, it’s only because I found them hilariously over the top. Who does that? If that is wrong, then I apologize for that. I never planned for this thing to get so out of control — it just did. I never add to the comment thread unless it’s to respond to someone else. But I have always invited Norm or any of his friends/family to come back and set the record straight — and plenty of them have. That’s the reason I have not closed the comments on this thread. It just keeps coming back to life. And that’s why I welcome your comments and thank you for them — even if they are somewhat attacking me in a misdirected manner.

  10. Old school says:

    “Take It To The Limit”

    All alone at the end of the of the evening
    And the bright lights have faded to blue
    I was thinking ’bout a woman who might have
    Loved me and I never knew
    You know I’ve always been a dreamer
    (spent my life running ’round)
    And it’s so hard to change
    (Can’t seem to settle down)
    But the dreams I’ve seen lately
    Keep on turning out and burning out
    And turning out the same

    So put me on a highway
    And show me a sign
    And take it to the limit one more time

    You can spend all your time making money
    You can spend all your love making time
    If it all fell to pieces tomorrow
    Would you still be mine?

    And when you’re looking for your freedom
    (Nobody seems to care)
    And you can’t find the door
    (Can’t find it anywhere)
    When there’s nothing to believe in
    Still you’re coming back, you’re running back
    You’re coming back for more

    So put me on a highway
    And show me a sign
    And take it to the limit one more time

    Take it to the limit
    Take it to the limit
    Take it to the limit one more time

  11. Old school says:

    The song above is from The Eagles. For you Norm…my love

  12. RotoRob says:

    Thanks, Old School. Nothing like a classic to ease the mood…

  13. Shantal says:

    Hello

  14. RotoRob says:

    Hi Shantal. Are you a fan of Norm’s? What brings you by?

  15. Yat says:

    I played football against Norm in high school he was Randy Moss before there was one. Hell of an athlete best I have ever seen and played basketball and baseball too. He could have been a pro in any sport. He was always a good dude everyone in Yonkers loved and respected him and he did not let it go to his head. He also played along Nealon Greene who was another outstanding athlete who went on to play QB for Clemson and then in the CFL.

  16. RotoRob says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories. Yat. A couple of people have talked about what an amazing athlete Norm was back then. Randy Moss! Wow, that’s some freaking high praise! Have you kept in touch with him over the years?

  17. Barbie says:

    What is Norm doing now? Is he married? He is a real cutie and a very nice person, too. I haven’t seen him for over 10 years…NORM where are you?

  18. RotoRob says:

    Hi Barbie,

    I’m not sure if he played anywhere this year or not after he was released very early in the season in 2012. But if you’re interested in keeping in touch with him, he’s on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Check out the comments thread here for the latest updates.

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