Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake Bees infielder Efren Navarro has been rewarded for his efforts.
Navarro was named a Triple-A All-Star for the 2013 season, and he'll depart this weekend for Wednesday's Triple-A All-Star game in Reno, Nev.
“It feels great. It shows that all the hard work I put in is finally paying off,” he said. “It’s going to help my resume and open up eyes up there in the stands, and hopefully I’ll get a shot to play in the big leagues again.”
It will be Navarro’s first trip to the All-Star game during his three seasons in Triple-A. Navarro currently leads the PCL with a .433 on-base percentage. He's tied for second in hits with 112 and is third with a .352 batting average.
Navarro's consistency has been a key factor in his success, and according to Bees manager Keith Johnson, the player is deserving of All-Star recognition.
“(Navarro) can expect to gain validation that the things he’s done up until this point, and more specifically this year, that he’s a darn good ball player,” said Johnson. “To be selected, there’s only one team. There are 16 teams selected and he’s one of the players at the Triple-A level that made that team. I think that gives him a little bit more validation.”
Chasing the dream of a shot in the big leagues, Navarro has worked to improve his game offensively and defensively in three seasons with the Bees. With his contract expiring at the end of 2013, Navarro will test the waters of free agency in an attempt to earn a major league spot.
“This is my third year in Triple-A and I’ve learned a lot, and that’s the best part about it — that I continue to learn. I strive on being perfect defensively and offensively,” said Navarro. “This being my last year, then I’m going to test the free agent market, I feel like I have to put myself in the best possible position to move on with my goal and continue to play in the big leagues.
“I feel like that’s the key. That’s been why I’ve been waking up in the mornings and working so hard, having that goal and that mindset. That just helps me strive towards my goal."
CENTURY MARK: Kole Calhoun and Roberto Lopez each stole second base Wednesday night, moving the Bees into third place in the PCL with 101 stolen bases.
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