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White Sox Season Review: Grading the Bench Players

mmanetti
Aug 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (53), center fielder J.B. Shuck (20), and designated hitter Avisail Garcia (26) celebrate after defeating the Seattle Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (53), center fielder J.B. Shuck (20), and designated hitter Avisail Garcia (26) celebrate after defeating the Seattle Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
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C Omar Narvaez

Sep 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher
Sep 7, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher /

Last and certainly not least, we come to catcher Omar Narvaez. In my opinion, Narvaez was the most productive bench player the Sox had. Narvaez was brought up from the minors on July 6. He made Dioner Navarro expendable shortly after. And boy did he impress. At just 24, he showed he could handle a major league pitching staff. Narvaez showed he was comfortable calling the game and was on the same page with his pitcher.

Best of all, he didn’t do poorly at the dish. He batted .267, which led all White Sox bench players. The rookie also showed he had a great eye. In 101 plate appearances, he drew 14 walks while striking out just 10 times. That’s pretty impressive for a guy making his major league debut. His on-base percentage was .350, whichwas the best among the bench. It’s clear he has a bright future ahead of him.

With Alex Avila being a free agent, I wouldn’t be opposed to the team trying him out as their starting catcher. Sure, they would need to bring in another veteran as the backup, but Narvaez has shown he has all the tools needed to step into that starting role. He definitely earned the respect of his starting pitchers and I think he is a bright talent. His power numbers really weren’t there, but they can easily add a power-hitting bat in the outfield. This organization just needs to keep developing him and suddenly catcher may not seem like an area of concern.

Grade: A

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