Ht: 5'10" Wt: 175 B-T: L-R
Acquired: Narvaez was signed by the Tampa Bay organization as an international free agent in 2008. Acquired by Sox in AAA portion of the 2013 Rule V Draft
FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #25 - 2016 Preseason
- 2015 Mid-Season Carolina League All-Star (Winston-Salem Dash)
- 2015 Post-Season Carolina League All-Star (Winston-Salem Dash)
Omar Narvaez was signed by the Tampa Bay organization as a 17-year old in 2008 as an international free agent out of Venezuela, for a low six-figure bonus. The Rays were very conservative with his development, as he spent his first four years as a professional with Rookie Ball level affiliates. Narvaez had no problem with that level of competition, hitting a combined .289/.375/.352 and throwing out over half of would-be base stealers. In 2013, he was finally promoted to Low-A Hudson Valley and hit a disappointing .267/.311/.333 and the Rays elected to not protect him via reserve list from the Rule V Draft. The White Sox pounced and selected Narvaez in the AAA portion of the draft and he rewarded their faith by posting his strongest season in 2014. With his new team he hit a combined .285/.365/.352 between Low-A Kannapolis and Advanced-A Winston-Salem. One possible explanation for his success is the Sox had Narvaez abandon switch-hitting early in the 2014 season. His numbers against left-handed pitchers were still poor, but he mashed righties to tune of .317/.379/.392 in 2014. The White Sox had Narvaez start back in Winston-Salem in 2015, where his numbers were down from 2014, but still respectable at .274/.352/.313 and he was named a Carolina League All-Star. 2016 has been a whirlwind for Omar - he started in AA Birmingham, but due to injuries above him, he went to AAA Charlotte quite quickly, and now has been called up to Chicago in July and made his MLB debut.
Narvaez is regarded as a defense-first catcher with a good handle on the pitching staff and a strong arm (he's also a fan of the 1st base back-pick). He has a career 42% caught stealing percentage, which is a bit inflated by his Rookie Ball numbers, but still very good even in full season ball. He has very little power but he possesses excellent plate discipline (career OBP .361) as an offsetting strength. He's got very good zone judgment, and this shows in his BB:K ratio that has been the best in the system the past two seasons. But he's not usually hit for a high average either, which correlates with the lack of power due to a short, efficient but low-leverage swing and unspectacular bat speed. Omar will likely never be an everyday catcher due his inability to hit lefties but he profiles well as a backup to a right-handed-hitting starter.
Major League Outlook: Backup catcher
ETA: Mid-season/September 2017
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