Entering his third year in the league, Narvaez only had 124 games under his belt, primarily serving as the team’s backup. But now, allowed to play every day, he has turned some heads. This year, after 79 games, he holds a batting slash line of .288/.378/.438 with an OPS of .816.
With the starting catcher job for the contending stage of the rebuild still up for grabs, Narvaez is setting the bar pretty high with his recent impressive performance.
Another player to get a starting job to replace another player was Daniel Palka.
On April 24, Avisail Garcia was placed on the 10-day disabled list and Palka was called up. After Garcia came off the DL, Palka’s performance and skill set were valuable to have in the Majors and he was able to keep his roster spot.
Despite his .237 batting average and .283 OBP, he is slugging an impressive .471 with an OPS of .754. But it is his 19 home runs, 14 doubles, and 53 RBIs in 97 games that stand out.
He may not have pushed his name into the American League Rookie of the Year debate, but in a couple years when Palka is hitting 30-plus home runs and driving in 100 or more runs constantly, many will question why he was not.