Cleveland Indians: 5 Position Players with the Most to Prove this Spring
Tyler Naquin came out of nowhere in spring training last season and earned himself an unlikely roster spot on opening day.
Naquin turned heads with his consistent bat and sneaky power throughout spring training 2016 and won the hearts of Tribe fans. However, the good times were not ready to hang around.
As his playing time increased into the second and third months of the 2016 season, Naquin’s youth quickly began to show. Poor at-bats and shaky outfield leadership seeped into Naquin’s game.
A notable flaw – his inability to hit the fastball – hindered Naquin’s at bats, and it showed. He never was able to conquer this flaw in 2016.
His Game 6 error in the World Series showed lack of game maturity as the young center fielder failed to take control of the play.
This spring, improvement in both areas will be needed. Having significant major league experience and playing on the game’s biggest stage in front of the world will help with confidence, which will lead to better outfield leadership. However, hitting the fastball could be trickier.
It will undoubtedly be something he will work on with the Tribe’s hitting coach throughout the spring.
With the addition of veteran Austin Jackson and the return of Abraham Almonte, Naquin’s spot on the MLB roster is not guaranteed, however we should see him in a Tribe uniform come April.