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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 58: Edgar Navarro

His first majors taste was rough, but there’s still promise in this arm

It was a small cup of coffee (eight games), but Edgar Navarro got his first taste of the majors in 2023.
| Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

Edgar Navarro

Right-Handed Relief Pitcher
180 pounds
Age: 26
2023 SSS Top Prospect Rank 56
2023 High Level Chicago (MLB)
Age relative to high level -3.7 years
SSS rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system 7
Overall 2023 MiLB stats 3-2 ⚾️ 46 games (15 finishes) ⚾️ 3 SV ⚾️ 52 2⁄3 IP ⚾️ 3.59 ERA ⚾️ 1.424 WHIP ⚾️ 44 K ⚾️ 37 BB

Edgar Navarro already was already old (20) for an international prospect when he signed with the organization in March 2018. Then, he suffered through a difficult season when he posted a 6.36 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in 24 games totaling 58 innings, as he allowed 70 hits (.289 OBA) and 31 walks (10.7%) while fanning 60 (20.8%).

Despite serving up a large number of hits, Navarro’s numbers improved in 2019 — which should be expected for someone 2.7 years older than DSL average. Navarro posted a 4.20 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 23 outings totaling 55 2⁄3 innings, as he relinquished 65 hits (.295 OBA) and 18 walks (7.3%) while striking out 68 (27.6%). It appears that Navarro’s pitched in some incredibly bad luck, as his FIP was 3.65 in 2018 and 3.06 in 2019. He did post a nice 3.78 K/BB ratio in his second go-around in the Dominican, and his strikeout numbers were good.

After missing 2020 due to the pandemic, Navarro (again, due to age more than achievement) skipped both the ACL and Low-A and slid right into Winston-Salem’s bullpen in 2021 — where he flopped, to put it mildly. An 8.45 ERA and 1.832 WHIP while pitching basically at league-average age was not a recipe for future success.

But just like that, things clicked for the big righty, and he had a breakout 2022. In both a brief beginning with the Dash and then essentially the rest of the season with Double-A Birmingham, Navarro made a big turnaround. He remains very wild, but particularly at Birmingham, got incredibly stingy with hits (29 hits, 36 walks for a 3.53 ERA in 35 games). With three hits in his final 10 innings with the Barons (over eight games), Navarro was pushed to Charlotte by season’s end. He got in three games with the Knights, and while his numbers weren’t good, he basically had two strong outings and one washout.

In 2023, things really took off. It started with something as simple as Navarro being included as part of the MLB club’s photo day at spring training, signalling that he was on the club’s radar despite starting the season in Double-A. The righthander moved all the way up to the majors, in separate August and August-September stints (eight games, 7.27 ERA, 5.56 FIP, and an uncharacteristically good 4.5 K/BB).

Navarro’s Baseball Cube player ratings:
Durability 87 (-4 from last season)
Hittable 54 (+11)
vs. Power 54 (+11)
Strikeouts 47 (-10)
K/BB 26 (-5)
Walks 25 (-1)

Contrary to last year’s hopeful “photo day” inclusion, this offseason Navarro was DFAd off of the 40-man roster to make room for catcher Max Stassi. That’s less of a player-dislike issue as it is a numbers-crunch, as the White Sox have been gathering tons of mediocre 40-man veterans in an attempt to win at least 60 games in 2024.

Put another way, the White Sox have little quality depth in spite of beefing up on AAAA players and other arm gambles. If nothing else, Chicago’s piecemeal rotation will greatly tax relievers in 2024. Whether breaking with the club out of Arizona or not, it’s a good bet that Navarro will be back on the Charlotte-Chicago shuttle in 2024.

2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

58. Edgar Navarro, RHRP
59. Lucas Gordon, LHSP
60. Andrew Pérez, LHRP
61. Javier Mogollon, 2B
62. Aldrin Batista, RHSP
63. Ryan Castillo, 1B
64. Bryce Willits, 3B
65. Colby Smelley, C
66. Wes Kath, 3B
67. Alsander Womack, 2B
68. Jordan Sprinkle, SS
69. Connor McCullough, RHSP
70. Luis Rodriguez, RHRP
71. Jonah Scolaro, LHRP
72. Ben Beutel, LHRP
73. Stiven Flores, C
74. Adrian Gil, 1B
75. Yohemy Nolasco, RHRP
76. Ben Norman, LF
77. Josimar Cousín, RHSP
78. Juan Gonzalez, C
79. Chris Lanzilli, LF
80. Alex Speas, RHRP
81. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
82. Garrett Wright, RHRP
83. Duke Ellis, CF
84. Mathias LaCombe, RHRP
85. Godwin Bennett, RF
86. Rikuu Nishida, LF
87. Caden Connor, LF
88. Zach Franklin, RHRP
89. Jeremy González, LHSP
90. Jerry Burke, RHRP
91. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
92. Mikey Kane, 3B
93. Carlton Perkins, RHSP
94. Tyler Neslony, LF
95. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
96. Jason Matthews, SS
97. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
98. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
99. Daniel González, LHRP
100. Eduardo Herrera, 3B

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