Baltimore Orioles add infielder Rey Navarro to Major League roster
By Mike Franz
While many were watching college football today, the Baltimore Orioles were busy in signing utility infielder Rey Navarro to a Major League contract.
Navarro had plenty of Minor League offers on the table, but the Orioles’ Major League deal was most appealing to the 24-year-old. He originally hails from Caguas, Puerto Rico where he played for the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He was then drafted by the Diamondbacks in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft.
For the next eight years, he bounced around organizations from the Diamondbacks to the Royals and finally to the Reds. Although he never made it to the Majors with any of those teams, he did bat a combined .265/.312/.375 with 361 RBI and 237 extra-base hits in his Minor League career.
This past season he had a .282 combined batting average between Cincinatti’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. He also had 12 home runs and 57 RBI also.
As a Minor League free agent, the Orioles saw the potential this kid possessed. One thing the Orioles liked about Navarro was his versatility on defense.
In eight seasons in the Minor Leagues, Navarro played 445 games at shortstop, 320 at second base, and 98 at third base.
His best fielding percentage can be found at second base (.970) where he turned 191 double plays and had 793 assists. The Orioles hope he can join Ryan Flaherty as a utility infielder for the ball club in 2015.
Although he has no Major League experience, this speedy ball player gives Showalter another option for the infield in case shortstop J.J. Hardy goes down during the 2015 season due to injury.