Yesterday, we ran two posts defending Dioner Navarro against the suggestion from one writer that Navi is a “middling” catcher and that if the Rays want to win now, they should draft Buster Posey.

Tampa Bay Sports Blog thinks we went too far

This is getting out of control now. I know everyone out there is happy with the production of the fat catcher so far this year, but let’s all relax and just appreciate what he’s done. I’m not going to try to lie and say that he hasn’t improved or performed beyond expectations, he has. I’m not going to buy into people making him out to be some sort of godsend that has finally arrived either though. We all have our own opinions of how players perform and project, but to think this guy is going to become one of the best at his position is quite absurd.

Now, in our defense, we didn’t mean to suggest that we think TFC is the next Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk or Mike Piazza. When we ran those two tables, we were merely showing that those are the only players that have had better seasons as a catcher at such a young age. For anybody to compare TFC to those hall of famers would be absurd and an injustice to those guys and it is not fair to TFC.

However, our point still stands. TFC is a very good hitter. We go into much greater detail in the comments section of TBSB, much of which has been stated on this site in the past. But we will note that the biggest indicator for futures sustained success from TFC is that he is producing in the major leagues as a 24 year old catcher. To be an everyday catcher in the major leagues at such a young age is rare. Jorgie Posada had ONE game in the big leagues prior to his age-24 season. TFC had 255. Catchers are notoriously slow developers, and TFC has the advantage of having the development occur at the major league level.

He will never hit for power. But TFC has a very good swing and develops a lot of line drives. He is hurt by his speed, so he will never be the beneficiary of cheap infield singles or stretching singles into doubles, but there is no reason TFC shouldn’t hit .320 every year.

In fact, TBSB proposed a friendly little wager and we accepted. If TFC finishes the year below .300, we will invite TBSB over to Rays Index to write a post on any subject of their choosing. On the other hand, if TFC hits .300 or better, they have promised to write a post on their site listing 10 positive things about TFC and an additional 5 positive points about Jason Bartlett, whom they were critical of early in the season.

Dioner Navarro Is Heading For A Historic Season [Rays Index]
MLB first-round projections [Yahoo! Sports]
Let’s relax with the praise of ‘the fat catcher’ [Tampa Bay Sports Blog]



  1. John says:

    Just for fun I was running some comparison graphs on FanGraphs and I found one absolutely stunning. While Navarro does not have Bench's power, their BB:K rates at age 22-24 are strikingly similar. Check them out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    do you have a link?

  3. John says:

    It's the second graph.


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