Will Nap’s Bat Awaken From Its Slumber?

**ORIGINAL POSTED DATE 7/14/12**

How amazing were the thunderous chants of “NAP-O-LI” in the 2011 postseason? Now, how much of a buzzkill are they this season? It’s almost as if they are mocking Napoli almost as if they were said in a slow, Brooklyn-like accent: “NAAAAP-OOOO-LIIII.” 
This would be because the guy that had a World Series MVP-like slash line of .350/464/.700 with two homeruns and 10 RBI is a guy that is striking out a Chris Davis-like 30.2% clip.

Exhibit A: .232/.344/.529
Exhibit B: .383/.466/.706
Exhibit C: .228/.340/.419

“A” would be Napoli’s 2011 pre-All Star line, “B” is his post-All Star line and “C” is his line before the All Star break this year.

The glaring difference between last season and this season besides his strikeout rate is his dramatic drop in slugging percentage. In the 2011 first half, Napoli had 22 XBH in only 155 at-bats while this season he has 18 in 241 at-bats.

The Rangers’ bats as a team have gone cold for the month of July and none have been colder than Napoli’s (2/21 with seven Ks).

Nap is in his contract year and will be looking for a Victor Martinez-type deal (4/50). He has never hit for a strong average (.260), but has always shown great patience at the plate (.357 OBP). I still think that he is more likely to be signed by Texas than Hamilton because of his versatility and he is much more affordable.

If the Rangers are going to have success this postseason and win that coveted World Series, they need Napoli to bring at least a slither of that 2011 magic.

“Win the crowd and you’ll win your freedom (contract).” –Proximo from Gladiator (2000). 

Eddie Middlebrook is the Chat Coordinator and Junior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Eddie.Middlebrook@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @emiddlebrook  
Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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