Player Watch: Mike Napoli

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Mike Napoli, C, LAA went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run, his 4th homer of early spring. He scored a run and added 4 rbi’s. Napoli has turned into a power hitting machine looking to earn more playing time behind the plate. Mike Scioscia, manager of the Angels may be pressured into granting that wish. Scioscia, in the past, doesn’t like having Napoli calling pitches. Whatever the reason, it may not be enough to keep him out of the line-up if he continues this torrid pace. The young catcher is only 28 and he has hit 20 home runs in each of the past two seasons. Last season also garnered a career in number of at bats, so there is hope that he may be in line to see more this year—even if he spells Matsui at DH. It is still early and this may not be reason to go changing up your rankings, but it certainly is reason to put a plus+ by his name come draft day. Napoli’s 2009 stats: 60-runs, 20-hr’s, 56-rbi’s, 3-sb’s, .272 ba. He is still on the waiver wire in a good percentage of mixed leagues and worth a flier especially if you have room for a second catcher. If this spring is any indication of things to come then there is reason to speculate that the power hitting right hander could hit 25 homers this season with 70 rbi’s and 70 runs scored, while stealing a handful of bases. You can’t expect any jump in batting average as he will probably maintain somewhere in the .270 range. Even if he doesn’t play every day those are better numbers than many of the catchers that will go ahead of him on draft day.

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