Cleveland Guardians catching prospect Bo Naylor promoted to Triple-A Columbus
Bo Naylor, the first-round pick and top catching prospect for the Guardians, is now just one step away from the majors.
The potential future of the catcher position in Cleveland is one step closer to reality, as highly touted prospect Bo Naylor – yes, the brother of Josh – has been promoted to Triple-A Columbus.
Naylor, 22, has certainly earned the promotion, bouncing back from a disappointing 2021 season (he hit .189 in 313 at-bats) to hit .271/.427/.471 with six home runs, 12 doubles and 21 RBIs at Double-A Akron in 2022. Perhaps most impressively, Naylor is displaying excellent plate discipline, drawing 45 walks to his 46 strikeouts. If those kinds of numbers hold, he’ll fit right in with this Guardians lineup.
When can fans expect to see Bo Naylor in Cleveland?
The former first-round pick is right on the precipice of the majors, and there are going to be plenty of people clamoring for him to make his debut in Cleveland this season. Given the current offensive state of the Guardians’ catching, that’s not surprising. But Cleveland typically values defense, pitch framing and the ability to manage the pitching staff far above offense at the position.
That being said, there could be an opportunity for Naylor to make his major-league debut this season should current backup Luke Maile continue to struggle. Maile has cooled off considerably after a hot start, and is now hitting just .196 in 51 at-bats. If Naylor tears the cover off the ball in Triple-A, there is a chance he could be up in Cleveland later this summer.
Still, the Guardians are in no rush with Naylor’s development, especially given his age and the wide-open landscape of the position beginning in 2023. The best bet is that Naylor will be up in Cleveland sometime early next season, possibly even as the Opening Day catcher. But he could certainly force the issue sooner than later.