Saturday July 30, 2011 | 05:19 PM

Yamaico Navarro batted .189 for Portland in 2009, and he had heads shaking. Navarro, a gifted fielder with quick hands at the plate, was as talented as many of the prospects that have graced Hadlock Field.

It took a while for Navarro to demonstrate the effort and confidence to move up.

2010 was kind of a breakout year as he batted a combined .275 for Portland and Pawtucket, and got a call-up to the majors, playing in 20 games.

Navarro got off to a quick start in Pawtucket this year, batting .320 through 20 games, with a .986 OPS. He likely would have been called up to Boston but went on the DL with an oblique strain (Jose Iglesias got a brief call-up instead).

Navarro came back and played 14 games before getting called up to Boston June 30. He had versatility, having played some outfield. But Navarro batted only .216.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona often says it takes a special kind of prospect to make it with a big-market team like Boston. The Red Sox cannot afford the patience that other teams can have. Those prospects need to be able to perform.

It appears that Navarro, still only 23, is going to need more time than the Red Sox can give him. In trading him to Kansas City, along with Class A reliever Kendal Volz, Boston not only gets an experience utility infielder in Mike Aviles, but also gives Navarro a chance to grow in a less-demanding organization.

Aviles, 30, is hitting only .222, but is batting .309 against left-handers. Aviles has shown he can hit fulltime, batting .325 in 2008, and .304 in 2010.

Aviles is a good pick-up, for this year and the future.

In Sea Dogs news, ace Alex Wilson will be coming off the disabled list Tuesday, when he is scheduled to pitch in the first game of a doubleheader in Bowie, Md. Wilson has been out with an infection in his left (non-pitching-elbow), which required a three-day stay in Massachusetts General,




About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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