Tigers Scouting Report #29: Franklin Navarro

Since being signed out of Venezuela, Franklin Navarro has been a prospect watched closely, projecting to be a solid big league catcher, both behind and at the plate. Navarro came Stateside in 2013 - how did that impact his projection?

Franklin Navarro


Position: Catcher
Date of Birth: 10/17/1994 (2014 Opening Day Age: 19)
Height/Weight: 5-10/181
Bats/Throws: Both/Right
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2011
Ranking History: #37 (2013), #29 (2014)

Background: Signed in 2011, Navarro dominated the Venezuelan Summer League in 2012, posting a .315/.360/.452 line in 62 games. Brought stateside for the 2013 season, Navarro struggled to a .258 average with 15 RBI in 33 Gulf Coast League games.


2013 Stats - Hitting
GCL 9713251221562501.258.327.371

Scouting Report

Body: Taller than listed height; average frame with projection to hand strength and get a little thicker; could have classic catcher build; natural strength evident; needs physical development but has potential in the frame.

Hit: Noise load/trigger; can be inconsistent from trigger to hitting zone; needs to quiet himself in the box and let the game come to him; shows occasional barrel control; potential to make solid contact on a consistent basis; Swing will get wild at times but seems to find the ball and make some type of contact; needs more consistent square contact; struggles with spin; handles FB well; swing is more consistent as LHH; need extensive work as RHH; long developmental path for hit tool utility but has potential for average hit. Grade – Present 3/Future 5

Power: Strength, bat speed and leverage in swing to project for average power; long road to fulfillment of power potential; hit utility must come first; power can play right now as LHH but more weak contact as RHH; more line drives now than over-the-fence power; legitimate pop should come with improved approach and physical maturity. Grade – 3/5

Speed: Below-average times down the line; body doesn't portend speed projection; likely below-average runner long term; instincts are raw. Grade – 4/4

Defense: Very raw but making strides; receiving ability needs the most work; too much drift with glove; boxes balls at times; improved blocking in 2013; gets down quickly; still needs work controlling the bounce of the ball off his body; surprising ability to block breaking balls; sloppy footwork on throws still plagues him; needs to develop consistency; defensive project but has potential to stay behind the dish. Grade – 3+/5

Arm: Above-average raw arm now; could be plus; pops 2.02-2.11 consistently; flashes 1.95-2.00 pop at times but lacks regularity; inconsistent footwork forces arm to play down at present. Grade – 4+/5+

Other: Not afraid to work; has improved quite a bit since coming stateside; raw in all facets of the game; improving instincts; has some leadership potential; suffered concussion in July 2013 and missed approximately 10 games.

Final Word

Summary: Very raw; long developmental path ahead; has potential for solid tools across the board; can stay behind the dish; arm will play with development; defensive skill have average potential; bat could be average in all respects; potential to be solid all-around contributor; concussion already on resume; potential solid regular.

Risk: Extreme risk; only complex league resume; one concussion already; multiple grade jumps required on nearly all tools.

Projection: Could use another year of short-season ball; very raw product with 5+ years of development remaining; development requires patience but payoff could be solid-average catcher on both sides of the ball.

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