35-Year-Old First Baseman – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Napoli's time as a lineup regular seems to be nearing an end given his declining production against right-handed pitchers (.605 OPS in 2015, .739 in 2014 and .816 in 2013), but he remains an effective...
Mike Napoli Contract Information:
Signed a one-year deal with the Indians in December of 2015.
Napoli did not receive a qualifying offer from the Indians and is now a free agent, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports.
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|2015 (Multiple Teams)||33||MAJ||BOS/TEX||133||469||407||46||91||39||20||1||18||50||3||3||57||118||0||1||4||.224||.324||.410||.734|
|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2016 projections for Mike Napoli||3-Year Averages||134||537||459||62||109||43||20||0||23||68||3||2||71||148||0||3||4||.237||.343||.431||.774|
|Career (View All)||1268||4,845||4,147||637||1,043||461||213||10||238||678||38||22||601||1,305||2||33||62||.252||.352||.480||.832|
Mike Napoli: MLB Games Played By Position
Mike Napoli Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
|Year||Age||Lg||Tm||PA||AB||Walk Rate||Strikeout Rate||BB/K Ratio||Contact Rate||BABIP||Isolated Power|
|2015 (Multiple Teams)||33||MAJ||BOS/TEX||469||407||12.2%||25.2%||0.48||71%||.269||.186|
|Preseason||Subscribe now to see our 2016 projections for Mike Napoli||3-Year Averages||537||459||13.2%||27.6%||0.48||68%||.299||.194|
2016 Stat Review for Mike Napoli As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2015 (min 420 PA)
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Mike Napoli: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Napoli battled through several injuries, including a finger injury that lingered from April on, and finished the season lower than expected in most of the fantasy-relevant categories. Even with the injuries limiting him to 119 games, he managed to cut his strikeout rate to 26.6% (lowest since 2011) while posting a career-high 15.6% walk rate. Not surprisingly, his power was sapped, and his .419 slugging percentage last season was easily his lowest since becoming a big league player in 2006. With Boston rebuilding the team on the fly after the All-Star break and more changes made to the roster in the offseason, Napoli remains the starting first baseman entering the final year of a two-year deal that he signed prior to the 2014 season. Where he fits in the order is murky, but the lineup around him should be more potent. It remains to be seen how much time, if any, he will cede to Allen Craig at first base.
Napoli spent his first full season as a non-catcher in 2013 and there were no hints of the degenerative hip condition that delayed his contract signing last offseason. He proved himself quite adept defensively at first base, was the Red Sox' main right-handed power bat and was a great fit with the team. Napoli was a middle-of-the-order bat and spent most nights hitting fourth or fifth, protecting David Ortiz. He fills an area of need for Boston again in 2014 after returning on a two-year deal.
The magical ride that was the second half (and postseason) of 2011 came to a quick and expected halt. Napoli's second year in Texas looked like every year he had in Anaheim: some pop, some walks and not a ton of hits. His .706 OPS against lefties is a marked departure from his career norms, so there's plenty of reason to think a rebound of some sort is in order. He's not going to reach the heights of 2011 again, but landing in Boston could enable him to beat his career batting average by knocking doubles off of the Green Monster. He agreed to a deal with Boston in the offseason, but it wasn't finalized until mid-January due to questions over the health of his hip. Napoli would likely play first base for the Red Sox, but he'll be catcher-eligible for at least another year and fantasy players could do far, far worse at the position.
The Angels might regret this. Texas acquired Napoli from the Blue Jays (via the Angels) over the winter, and all the big guy managed was a .320/.414/.631 line with 30 homers in just 369 at-bats, fueled solely by a monster second half (.383/.466/.706 in 214 at-bats). His first half was a typical Napoli season: low average (.232), some walks (25 in 155 at-bats) and some power (12 homers). His second half is obviously not repeatable, but any concerns of his breakout being attributed to home cooking alone can be discounted with a tidy .332/.414/.663 line on the road. He's a lock to be catcher-eligible until at least 2013 now, as he was universally praised for his work behind the plate in 2011 after rumblings that his time as a catcher was going to be limited at best going forward. Paying for last year's stats is never a good idea, and it seems to apply to Napoli more than others, but there's still a nice season all but assured here.
Napoli was a part-time catcher who had never played first base before last season, but an injury to Kendry Morales left a big hole in the Angels' lineup and provided him an opportunity to see extend action. Napoli played in a career-high 140 games last season, including 70 at first, a bonus for fantasy owners who were able to essentially play a first baseman at the catcher spot. Though Napoli's .238 batting average was nothing to write home about, his career-best 26 home runs was tops among all catcher-eligible players. Despite the strong season Napoli is sure to lose playing time in 2011 to a healthy Morales, so expect his production to slip a bit along with his at-bats.
Increased playing time made up for some reduced effectiveness at the plate, and you can expect him to have more years like 2009 again. If there's a concern, it's that manager Mike Scioscia doesn't seem to have a lot of faith in him, pinch-hitting for Napoli with startling frequency and even starting Jeff Mathis ahead of him in the playoffs. Any kind of slow start could cause Napoli to go the way of Chris Iannetta, so slide him down a couple of notches.
Napoli only played in 78 games in 2008, so finishing with 20 home runs is a pretty impressive feat. He also chipped in seven stolen bases, a big bonus from the catcher position. Napoli's combination of power and speed is rare among catchers, and if he's able to stay on the field more often, fantasy owners could get a lot of value out of him in 2009. He had arthroscopic surgery in October, but is expected to be ready for spring training. Watch closely to see how well he throws - if that's an issue because of the surgery, he could lose some playing time to Jeff Mathis.
Napoli was one of the big surprises of 2006 and it looked like he was on track to build upon that effort and become a solid power-hitting catcher with the Angels for years to come. Unfortunately, Napoli only played 75 games due to injury. One the plus side, he still hit ten home runs and stole five bases over that time despite hitting just .247. If Napoli can stay healthy and improve his eye at the plate, he could develop into a solid fantasy option at a weaker position, and he's slated to begin the season as the Halos' starter behind the plate.
July 1. On that day against the Dodgers, Napoli hit two homers, walked once, and had an OPS nearing 1100 at the end of the game. He was useless after that, dropping into an 0-for-11 slump and getting worse from there. The end result--low BA, lots of walks, good power--is a reasonable expectation going forward. He's better than Jeff Mathis, will likely open the season with the starting catcher job over Mathis, and when he hits his peak, he'll be an All-Star candidate.
Napoli was solid, if unimpressive, offensively at Double-A Arkansas in 2005. As long as he remains a catcher he has a shot at major league playing time and projects as above-average offensively for a catcher. Look for him to have a cup of coffee with the Angels at some point late in 2006.
Napoli doesn't project as a catcher and he'd never previously had the kind of power he hit for last season. It's safe to say he's emerged, but whether he can do it at Double-A will be a better measure of future performance.