The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of infielders P.J. Rose and Ray Navarrete. Both were key members of the Ducks lineup in 2007, contributing with some of the best offensive numbers of their careers. Rose hit .342, set a new career high and Ducks record with 155 hits, posted 14 home runs and drove in 95. The 19-year-veteran’s batting average was good for fourth in the Atlantic League, and his RBI total was the second- highest in team history. Navarrete broke the league record with 42 doubles, hitting .307 on the year.
“P.J. not only brings great production to our team, he’s also an incredible leader in the clubhouse,” says Ducks manager Dave LaPoint. “Ray is a terrific talent who hustles out every play, and leads by example on the field. We’re very excited to have both of these guys back with us this season.”
Rose is a veteran of 1,779 minor league games, including 235 with the Ducks in 2005 and 2007. Last season, he finished second in the Atlantic League in hits (155). The Cincinnati native’s best season came in 1997, when a .308 average, 25 home runs, 31 doubles, and 98 RBI with Chattanooga (AA, Reds) earned him a September call-up to the big leagues, where he appeared in 11 contests with his hometown team, the Cincinnati Reds. Rose was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th round of the 1988 draft.
New Jersey native Navarrete enjoyed a career year in 2007, his first full season with the Ducks. He tied a team record with 104 runs scored and finished fourth in the Atlantic League with 144 hits. The 29-year-old racked up 62 extra-base hits, slugged a career-high 18 home runs and collected 67 RBI. Navarrete has appeared in 841 minor league games, holding a career .280 batting average. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000.