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narvaez
Photo: MLB

#22

C

Omar Narváez

Omar David Narváez Beltrán

Height: 5'11"    Weight: 220

Bats/Throws: Left / Right

Born: 02/02/1992 in Maracay, Venezuela

Offseason home: Doral, Florida

Family: Wife Yisa, son Omar Jesús

Acquired: In trade from the Chicago White Sox, for Alex Colomé (11/30/2018)

MLB Debut: 07/17/2016

Free Agent after: 2022 season

Expect Narváez to be the opposite of Mike Zunino. Both had 1.9 WARs last season, but two-thirds of Zunino’s value was on defense while almost all of Narváez’s value was on offense. Quietly on offense. He works counts, draws walks, gets hits. In the minors, he walked more than he struck out (176/168), which is a huge difference from Zunino, who left the M’s with a wrong-way Ruthian 714 Ks against 138 BBs.

In baseball, you make noise with pop (Nellie), speed (Dee), or both (Betts), and Narváez has, well, neither. In eight minor-league seasons, he stole 16 bases (but none since A-ball in 2015) and smacked only seven homers (less than one a year). His MLB SB total is still zero but maybe the pop is coming around? He hit nine homers last season. For the first time in any level of professional baseball, his slugging percentage was over .400. We’ll see.

There’s a nice story about his first Major League homer. He was brought up mid-July 2016 as a backup catcher for the ChiSox, and was hitting well enough but with zero power: four doubles, no triples, no homers. Then in his third-to-last game, with his family in the stands, he went deep. It also happened to be his father’s birthday. “It’s a very special gift for my dad,” he told the press in the locker room. “That’s what I was thinking as I was running the bases. It’s the best thing I could do this day.”

EL, 3/18/19