Bo Naylor may be starting the season in Triple-A, but that is not stopping the young backstop from making highlight-worthy plays in the World Baseball Classic. Naylor was behind the plate getting some valuable non-minor-league experience as Team Canada was taking on Colombia in Pool C play.
It did not take long for Naylor to showcase his arm against a former Cleveland Guardian. With one out in the inning and a full count, it was Oscar Mercado in motion doing his best to avoid a double-play should the pitch be put in play. The bad news for Mercado is that Dayan Frias was not able to put bat to ball, striking out for the seond out of the inning and setting Naylor up for a highlight. Naylor delivered with an aboslute dart to second, allowing Otto Lopez to tag Mercado for the final out in the inning. The throw from Naylor to Lopez was absolutely perfect as all Lopez had to do was secure the ball in his glove to make the final out of the inning.
The impessive play behind the plate was not the only highlight for Naylor, as he was also able to put together a clutch at-bat with two men on and two out in the top of the fourth. It was an inside pitch in a 1-2 count, and Naylor was able to get his hands through the zone and deposit the ball into shallow center field, allowing Tyler O'Neill to score Canada's first run of the game. Canada would add four more runs in their 5-0 win over Colombia and the two-out RBI single from Naylor got everything started.
While Naylor has not popped offensively in the World Baseball Classic, going 1-10 with five strikeouts in three games, it is these plays in particular that have people excited. A little bit more consistency and Naylor's time in Cleveland could be coming sooner rather than later. For now, it will be these highlights serving as a preview of the Guardians' future at the catcher position.