30 November 2012

Short Rundown of the Yamaico Navarro Deal

Yamaico Navarro is on the move again.  He tantalized Boston for several years showing plus power with adequate power and plate discipline from the SS position.  However, he frustrated them for his nonchalant manner in keeping himself in shape.  After a couple short trials at the MLB level, Boston gave up on him and traded him to the Royals with Kendal Volz for Mike Aviles.  You could call both Navarro and Volz as C level prospects.  The Royals gave up on him after half a season and traded him for Brooks Pounders and Diego Goris.  Goris is a non-prospect by this point as he has developed not a trace of plate discipline as a 21 year old in rookie ball.  The Royals converted Pounders to a starting pitcher where he has worked himself to a C+ level as a prospect.  Now, with the Orioles...he earns the Pirates Jhondaniel Medina who is in line as a C level prospect.  With this swapping perspective, it appears to me that Navarro is a commodity of decreasing value.

Navarro's decrease in value is related to a couple things.  First, as he has accumulated 383 plate appearances in the majors and will be 26 next year.  The promise he showed as a 20 year old breaking out in HiA Lancaster has eroded significantly over the following four years.  He stills shows a strong arm and quick feet, but has filled out rather softly which has cut into his range and pushed him to second base, third base, and left field.  The bat may wind up playing at second if he is able to generate better contact in the majors, which could make him viable as an offensive minded 2B.  Third base is trending more toward power these days, but he could potentially be a fit there.  In the outfield, it is difficult seeing the bat come along as well as that.

Jhondaniel Medina?  He is a nineteen year old pitcher who throws a high 80s fastball, a slider that breaks hard (with some command issues), and a poor change up.  The fastball-slider plays well enough for rookie ball and should work in A ball.  However, even at this level he shows a strong platoon split with lefties hitting him quite well.  As a right handed pitcher, this profile is not incredibly special.  However, it is a roughly interesting arm for the purposes of accumulating arm depth and it allows Pittsburgh to clean a space on the 40 man roster.

What does it all mean?
The Orioles find themselves with a player who used to be an interesting prospect and has failed multiple times at the major league level, but gives them more options for filling second base.  The Pirates get more flexibility in their 40 man roster by dealing a guy two other teams had given up on in the past two seasons along with acquiring an slightly interesting, but certainly not unique, arm.


Boss61 said...

Neither player sees the light of day on a 25-man major league roster - ever - unless there are major injuries.

Jon Shepherd said...

Major injuries will not keep Medina from being a Major League player as there are levels and levels and levels of players between him and the Majors. His path depends on improving his command, finding an increase in velocity, and/or figuring out a change up.

Navarro? It would be surprising to me to not see him at the MLB level at some point. Roberts is simply not going to be available for a whole season and is likely to perform very poorly when he is playing. Casilla is a marginal starter who has platoon tendencies. Flaherty's bat will always have issues with elite velocity. Hopefully, he can figure out the rest of his approach. Schoop is still a good year away from being able to start and probably does not have the range to be able to handle 2B for long. That leaves Navarro. My over/under for him is 50 MLB plate appearances in 2013. The Orioles, like last year, have a hole at second base.

Boss61 said...

I think the O's would be wise to consider Roberts at DH. Less wear and tear on him.

I like Casilla, for the Andino role. A decided upgrade.

Jon Shepherd said...

Roberts at DH might work, but it might also be too late.

His late two seasons he has slashed 221/273/331 and 182/233/182. Even if he was able to get back to full health, it will be difficult for him to be able to perform how he was four years ago with so much time off. I'm not optimistic he can turn back the clock to 2009.

John Sede said...

It sounds like Navarro's problem is poor conditioning, so he should head over to Brady Anderson's offseason boot camp and get himself in decent shape. Maybe then he could salvage his career, and the Orioles could get something out of the trade instead of just organizational filler.