Toby Hall was one of my favorite Devil Rays for a while. The catcher never did catch fire like a lot of people thought he would but when he was traded along with Mark Hendrickson for a young catch named Dioner Navarro, I thought the Devil Rays had gotten the short end of the stick in yet another trade (the Devil Rays also got mediocre relief pitcher Jae Weong Seo). I started changing my mind as Mark Hendrickson struggled and while Dioner Navarro didn’t light it up, I saw some of the good things that the catcher brought to the table (namely 20 walks vs. only 33 strikeouts in limited time).
I really warmed up to Navarro when I read this. It seems Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA has a mini breakout planned for Navarro. While .269/.344/.410 (mean weighted average) isn’t anything to write home about, it’s not too shabby for a catcher. I especially like his breakout rate (65%) and improve rate (85%). Good stuff and there’s always the chance that he comes out closer to his 75 percentile (.286/.360/.447 and a 4.1 WARP). Maybe we didn’t get hosed on this deal after all.
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