C Bo Naylor (AA)
Ranked No. 8 in Prospect1500’s list of the Indians’ top minor league players.
Now in his third (technically fourth) year in the minors, Bo Naylor, the 21-year-old catching prospect was expected to take a major step this year and at least crack Triple-A. In 2018, Naylor had a great rookie year, with splits of .274/.381/.402, with a .783 OPS. Solid stats for a rookie
His numbers took a slight step back in year two, no longer in rookie ball, posting splits of .243/.313/.421 but seeing his stats take a nice jump. He had 18 doubles, 10 triples, 11 home runs, 65 RBIs, and 43 walks. The big problem with Naylor in his sophomore year was his leap in strikeouts. Naylor struck out 24% of his at-bats as a rookie but as a sophomore that stat rose to 26%.
This leads us to his third year with the Akron RubberDucks. He’s bottomed out the whole year. He had the worst offensive splits of his career so far as a pro, .194/.287/344 and an OPS of just .631. The biggest problem is his strikeouts have increased yet again. While only one strikeout more in 2021 (105) than 2019 (104) it’s against 105 fewer at-bats. Meaning that Naylor strikes out 36% of his at-bats.
With Naylor another Top 10 prospect that’s been struggling, it’s hard to imagine he’s anywhere close to the Majors. That would be bad enough but with the decline and injury issues facing Roberto Perez, fans were hoping Naylor would be closer to joining the club. After this season, however, he seems as far from ever of being Major League-ready.