By Jerry Del Priore
Infielder Rey Navarro had a memorable first day with the independent Atlantic League’s Sugarland Skeeters, smacking two homeruns in his debut on Tuesday May 8, against the Lancaster Barnstormers.
In three games with the Skeeters, Navarro went 6-for-11 with two doubles, two home runs and three RBI. That three-game performance helped prompt the New York Yankees to purchase his contract from Sugarland on Saturday.
The Yankees haven’t named the minor league level that Navarro will start with as of the signing.
Navarro began the 2018 season with Triple-A Tacoma (Seattle Mariners) and was released by the organization on April 27.
The Arizona Diamondbacks plucked Navarro in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2015 and batted .276 with one longball and three RBI in 10 contests.
Navarro is a minor league veteran, though, playing in 1,152 games with a slash line of .265/.313/.374 with 61 home runs and 486 RBIs.
The Puerto Rican native spent four seasons in the Diamondbacks organization (2007-10), four in the Kansas City Royals organization (2010-13), one in the Cincinnati Reds organization (2014), one in the Orioles organization (2015), two in the Los Angeles Angels organization (2016-17) and one in the Mariners organization (2018).
Navarro’s solid play hasn’t gone unnoticed, however. He was a Midwest League All-Star in 2009 with Single-A South Bend (Arizona), a Carolina League All-Star in 2011 with High-A Wilmington (Kansas City) and a Southern League All-Star in 2014 with Double-A Pensacola (Cincinnati).