Catcher Dioner Navarro (Class AAA Louisville) has been named to the International League All-Star team.
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 email@example.com.
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