Bo Naylor does not look ready to be the starting catcher of the Cleveland Guardians.
The Cleveland Guardians called up Bo Naylor this season hoping that he’d turn his modest numbers in Triple-A into something special. While it’s still early into his rookie season, by all accounts the Guardians may have called him up too soon. Now, this is no dig on Naylor, he’s got talent and clearly, he has time to develop. Just look at his older brother Josh, who is having a breakout season as we speak.
But Bo, the younger Naylor brother, has been anything but good since being called up. Now normally, seven games and 28 at-bats wouldn’t get much from us, but it’s not just the fact he’s not hitting, only three hits and a .125 batting average. It’s the fact that he looks overmatched.
He was, at best, an average contact hitter in Triple-A Columbus, but he was able to balance a .254 average with 49 walks. So while his average was “meh”, his on-base was nearly .400. Yet, since getting called up to the bigs, he’s got just a .161 on-base percentage.
And he’s striking out often. In the minors, he struck out 19% of the time, in the majors he’s striking out nearly 40% of the time. If he was making contact and the ball wasn’t falling, fine. You give him time to find his swing, but normally the opposite happens with a new player. Usually, a pitcher struggles more with rookies than a veteran, as there’s more tape on a vet. Naylor should have a grace period.
But he’s not. He’s struggling to keep up with major league pitching, and that’s a problem.
How long do the Cleveland Guardians go with Bo Naylor?
The sad part about all this is that the Guardians are winning when he plays. It’s in spite of his performances, truly, but the Guards are 5-2 when Naylor catches. So knowing that he’s being battered by pitching, and the team is winning, how long can you really expect Naylor to stay up?
Well, I don’t think the Guardians are going to rush Naylor either way. I think they’re going to give him the time he deserves to prove whether or not he’s ready. After all, another top prospect that everyone gushed about, Gabriel Arias, is also struggling. It’s not like we didn’t see that coming either.
They’ve given Arias, and other names like Bradley Zimmer, a lot of time to find their legs, and I think Naylor will be given that time.
Though, there is a possibility, assuming the Guards have first-place and a winning record, that the team may look at a catcher at the trade deadline. If that happens, the team may opt to send Naylor back down for more seasoning, which, honestly, is where he belongs at the moment anyway.
Naylor was never ready and was rushed up, but the Guardians have decent player development, and hopefully, they can help him fix his issues at the plate.
- Published on 06/28/2023 at 19:50 PM
- Last updated at 06/28/2023 at 19:52 PM