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Mike Napoli is a member of a very small list of Major League Baseball players. He belongs to an exclusive club of players who hit a home run in their first major league at-bat. With a start like that, Mike Napoli was destined to become a great offensive catcher.
2011 saw Napoli have his best season yet offensively.
On a very strong offensive Texas Rangers team, Napoli was one of their top hitters, perhaps the best in the second half of the season. There were rumblings during the 2011 World Series that should the Rangers win that Napoli, should have a shot for World Series MVP.
Napoli seems to have hit his stride since coming to Texas in a trade for Vernon Wells. Napoli was never utilized as a full-time catcher in Anaheim. As the story goes, Scioscia did not feel that Mike was a strong enough catcher defensively and often preferred to use Jeff Mathis behind the plate.
Napoli was traded to Texas in a move that continues to delight Rangers fans.
Napoli had a slow start in 2012, hitting only .125 over the first seven games with a paltry 2 RBI while putting up 9 strikeouts. There was a fear that perhaps the 2011 season was an aberration and he was not the player they had grown to love.
Napoli has since put those fears to bed, having now hit 7 home runs with 18 RBI over 134 plate appearances, well on his way to matching his spectacular 2011 production.