YAMAICO NAVARRO
SHORTSTOP
Born: October 31, 1987
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 170
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: International Free Agent, 2005 (Red Sox)
How Acquired: Trade (for Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris)
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILE

Navarro is talented enough that Baseball America rated him either 10th or 12th in a good Red Sox system for three years, prior to each of the 2009 through 2011 seasons.  He has outstanding bat speed, giving him unusual power for a middle infielder.  He has average speed and probably can’t play shortstop in the majors except as a reserve, but he has a good arm and good enough hands and athleticism to handle second or third.  His maturity, however, has drawn questions.  He hasn’t always been in shape and doesn’t always run hard.  He can get out of control both at the plate and in the field, which shows in the wild variations in his plate discipline from year to year.

The Red Sox traded him to the Royals in a deadline deal in 2011, then the Royals sent him on to the Pirates in December.  The Royals at the time were trying to clear a roster spot for the Rule 5 draft.  The result may have been a steal for the Pirates, but it’s also possible the Royals concluded that Navarro’s attitude would keep him from succeeding.

2006
DSL:  279/344/438, 201 AB, 13 2B, 5 3B, 3 HR, 21 BB, 29 K, 5-8 SB

Hit respectably with good power and plate discipline in the DSL.

2007
A-:  289/357/409, 225 AB, 10 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 22 BB, 52 K, 12-18 SB

The Red Sox skipped Navarro over rookie ball and he hit well in the NYPL, playing against a lot of college players at age 19.  He played primarily shortstop, with a little time at third.

2008
A:  280/341/412, 325 AB, 14 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 29 BB, 73 K, 3-5 SB
A+:  348/393/508, 181 AB, 13 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 12 BB, 30 K, 3-5 SB

Navarro continued to hit well in full season ball, but his plate discipline continued to slide.  He put up big numbers in the hitting-happy California League after a late-season promotion to high A.  He continued to play short, but spent a little time at second and third.

2009
A-:  238/304/286, 21 AB, 1 2B, 2 BB, 3 K, 0-2 SB
A+:  319/373/543, 94 AB, 9 2B, 4 HR, 6 BB, 12 K, 2-4 SB
AA:  185/270/304, 135 AB, 6 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 14 BB, 28 K, 5-6 SB

Suffered a broken hamate bone on the first day of the season.  The injury obviously affected Navarro’s hitting when he returned.

2010
AA:  274/358/422, 329 AB, 19 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 42 BB, 53 K, 16-21 SB
AAA:  283/339/528, 53 AB, 4 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 5 BB, 6 K, 2-3 SB
MLB:  143/174/143, 42 AB, 2 BB, 17 K

Navarro bounced back with a good season in AA, including dramatically improved walk and K rates.  The Red Sox called him up in late August when Dustin Pedroia got hurt and he remained with them through the end of the season.

2011
AAA (Bos):  258/362/469, 128 AB, 8 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 17 BB, 25 K, 3-5 SB
AAA (KC):  272/317/391, 92 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 18 K, 3-7 SB
MLB (Bos):  216/275/351, 37 AB, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 9 K
MLB (KC):  304/346/348, 23 AB, 1 2B, 2 BB, 5 K

Navarro missed time with a back sprain, but otherwise continued to hit about the same as before in AAA, with a decent average and good power for a middle infielder.  His plate discipline dropped off but was still passable.  He saw a little major league time with both the Royals and Red Sox.

2012
AAA:  279/366/491, 222 AB, 14 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 32 BB, 41 K, 9-13 SB
MLB:  160/232/220, 50 AB, 1 HR, 5 BB, 13 K, 0-2 SB

Navarro made the major league roster out of spring training and stayed in the majors through the end of May.  He was used mainly as a pinch hitter and left fielder, but he made a few appearances at second, third and short.  Once he was sent down at the end of May, he came back up for just a few days in August.  He hit very little in the majors, but hit well in the minors, with very good power and plate discipline.  He played mostly third, with some time at second and in the outfield.  The Pirates did not call him up in September even though they could have used his bat off the bench.  The non-callup may have been the result of a DUI arrest late in the season.

The Pirates seemingly lost interest in Navarro very quickly.  He appeared to be a good potential bench option for them, if his hitting had started translating to the majors.  Even when he was struggling in the majors in 2012, his plate discipline remained decent.  Just the same, there were times in the second half of the season when it would have made sense to call him up, but the Pirates didn’t do so except for the one brief period.  They designated him for assignment when they acquired Vin Mazzaro and Clint Robinson.  He had a good season in AAA in 2012, so some team might claim him.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2013: League Minimum
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $20,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 8/20/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2017
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: August 20, 2010
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2011, 2012)
MLB Service Time: 1.001
TRANSACTIONS
September 3, 2005: Signed as an international free agent by the Boston Red Sox.
August 20, 2010: Contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox.
July 30, 2011: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Kendal Volz to the Kansas City Royals for Mike Aviles.
December 7, 2011: Traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris.
November 27, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.