Navarro chosen for International League All-Star team

He’s hitting .331 and has catcher’s ERA of 4.09 in 288 innings.

Navarro is one of only two Bats players hitting above .300. The Venezuela native entered Friday with a .331 batting average and .410 on-base percentage to go along with six doubles and three home runs.

Defensively, he has a catcher’s ERA of 4.09 in 288 innings this year and has thrown out 39 percent of would-be base stealers.

In 2008, while playing for the Tampa Bay Rays, Navarro was an American League All-Star, going 1-for-4 in the MLB All-Star game at the old Yankee Stadium. He caught the final eight innings of the game and singled in the bottom of the 15th as part of the AL’s game-winning rally.

He was signed by the Reds to a minor-league contract in January.

• Hot bats: Owners of the worst record in the International League (Class AAA), the Bats went on a recent nine-game winning streak.

But since the tear, David Bell’s squad had lost two in a row heading into the weekend.

The Bats are still in last in the West Division at 31-51, 19 games back of the Indianapolis Indians. But they have closed to within 1.5 games of the third-place Toledo Mud Hens.

• Billy ball: Somewhat overshadowed by the gaudy stolen base numbers he has been putting up is the job Billy Hamilton is doing at the plate for the High-A Bakersfield Blaze.

Hamilton enters the weekend leading all Reds farmhands (with at least 50 at-bats) in batting average (.325), runs (65) and hits (98). And he leads the free world in stolen bases with an incredible 92 in 72 games.

Hamilton is working on a 13-game hitting streak in which he’s gone 19-of-51 (.373). He had recorded 20 steals in nine games before being held without a swipe Thursday night.

Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2193 or jay.morrison@coxinc.com.

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