TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels suddenly appear to have solid organizational depth at first base with Mark Trumbo, Efren Navarro and Gabe Jacobo behind Kendry Morales.
Trumbo has hit several classic shots already this spring as Morales eases into his comeback from lower left leg surgery, and Jacobo is coming off a 22-homer, 107-RBI season at advanced Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Trumbo, who tied for the lead in the Minor Leagues with 36 homers while producing 122 RBIs at Triple-A Salt Lake, was the Angels' Minor League Player of the Year for 2010, while Jacobo was the Defensive Player of the Year.
After getting off to a slow start at Double-A Arkansas, Navarro, 24, finished with a .267 average, six homers and 50 RBIs. A 50th-round Draft pick in 2007 out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he has been impressive this spring with four hits in seven at-bats (.571). He adroitly went the other way with a two-out, RBI double in the ninth inning on Saturday against the Brewers.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia credited meetings with Abe Flores, director of player development, and roving hitting instructor Todd Takayoshi with turning Navarro's 2010 season around.
"Efren's a guy who really started our poorly last year at Double-A," Scioscia said. "He hit .310 the second half of the season at Arkansas, showing some power. This guy definitely is Gold Glove caliber. He's as good a defender as you're going to see at first base. His ability to be an effective hitter is along the lines of Mark Grace."