- Full name Michael Anthony Napoli
- Born 10/31/1981 in Hollywood, FL
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 225 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Charles W. Flanagan
- Debut 05/04/2006
Drafted in the 17th round (500th overall) by the Los Angeles Angels in 2000.
View Draft ReportNapoli is a dominant offensive player who can hit with power to all fields. He led his county in almost every department this spring, ranging from home runs to stolen bases. Scouts aren't sold on his ability behind the plate and see him more as a corner infielder. He'll go as far as his bat will take him.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After missing much of 2003 with a torn labrum in his right shoulder that required surgery, Napoli was barely on the Angels' radar because of uncertainty he could handle catching full-time. He returned in 2004 to post a career high in home runs and followed suit last season, leading the Texas League in homers and RBIs. Napoli's lone plus tool is tremendous raw power. He generates good bat speed and can drive balls with loft and carry to all fields. His swing gets long at times, as a loop in his load makes it hard for him to hit the top half of the ball. He made adjustments last season, but will always struggle with hard stuff above his hands and probably never will hit for average. Napoli swings and misses often but balances his strikeouts by drawing a lot of walks. He's not much of an athlete or runner, but he has improved behind the plate. His arm strength is average and he has smoothed out his footwork and exchange, allowing him to lead the Texas League by catching 47 percent of basestealers last year. He blocks and receives adequately and calls a good game. Napoli is streaky and he's not polished enough defensively to warrant everyday play as a catcher, as he also topped TL backstops with 14 errors and 13 passed balls. Nevertheless, he could make a nice big league backup to Jeff Mathis in the future. Napoli will spend 2006 in Triple-A.
After a torn labrum ruined his 2003 season, Napoli returned to high Class A and enjoyed a breakthrough year. He led the California League with 29 homers and 118 RBIs after totaling just 20 homers and 101 RBIs over his first four seasons. He also topped the Cal League in walks. Napoli has a polished, professional hitting approach and obvious power. He has natural loft in his swing and drives the ball well from center to the opposite field. He gets in trouble when he tries to lift and pull the ball, and he needs to lay off high fastballs. He'll always produce more for power than for average. The biggest question surrounding Napoli is whether he'll be able to catch at higher levels. His catch-and-throw skills are adequate, but his flexibility and footwork are poor. He doesn't move well behind the plate--or on the bases, for that matter--and several Cal League observers didn't think he'd be able to serve as a backup catcher in the majors. Napoli also saw time at first base last year. He has arthritis in his nonthrowing shoulder that could plague his hitting if it worsens. He'll get his first taste of Double-A in 2005 and could fill a DH role if his catching doesn't improve.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Power Prospect in the Texas League in 2005