It was a bit of a rough start in Cleveland for Josh Naylor, slashing just .230/.277/.279 over 22 games with the Tribe in the back half of the 2020 season. However, the 23-year old is starting to settle in with Cleveland and looks like a steady contributor for the club.
So far during the 2021 campaign, Naylor has been able to improve at the plate with a slash line of .259/.303/.406 along with four home runs, nine doubles and 13 RBI. His stats at the plate have been solid in the lineup, especially against right-handed pitchers, but his versatility in the field has allowed him to see more playing time.
Originally, Naylor was predominately an outfielder when he came to Cleveland with Carlos Santana at first. However, this season the opportunity for Naylor to see time at first base has opened the door for him to have an expanded role. His defense might not be as strong as others on the team at the position, but he offers a better offense option to fill the role. He’s also managed to have just two errors at first as well as just two in the outfield.
Being so young, Naylor has shown a lot of potential with Cleveland. Having arbitration seasons through 2025, Naylor could be a key piece to the future of the Cleveland Indians as he continues to grow and progress through his career.