Cleveland Guardians 2022 breakout candidate: OF/1B Josh Naylor

Cleveland Indians, Josh Naylor

Josh Naylor #22 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Josh Naylor is working his way back from a devastating injury, so once he’s back, what can Guardians fans realistically expect from him in 2022?

Cleveland fans remember in 2021 when Josh Naylor sustained a severe injury to his right leg, which consisted of fractures and tears that forced him to undergo season-ending surgery. But the great news is that he’s currently back on the field with the team preparing for the 2022 Major League Baseball season.

Naylor was acquired by the Cleveland Guardians back in 2020 in the trade that sent pitcher Mike Clevinger to the Padres. When he made his major-league debut in 2019 with the Padres, I always felt he would have success at the big-league level. This past Monday, Cleveland fans were very pleased when Naylor was quoted as saying he is almost one hundred percent back to health, and after watching him in camp swinging the bat, the powerful lefty most certainly appears to be on the correct corse.

Naylor could find himself at home in Cleveland, with Jose Ramirez, Franmil Reyes and Bobby Bradley in the middle part of the lineup. Once he’s back on the field, that lineup should provide Naylor with ample opportunities to drive in runs this season for the Guardians.

Predictions for Naylor’s 2022 Season

  • .275 batting average
  • 23 home runs
  • 78 RBI
  • OPS around .860-.890