Winning with 32% of the vote — a narrow 4% lead over second-place Brayan Rocchio — Bo Naylor is our No. 5 Cleveland prospect for 2021.
The young brother of current Cleveland outfielder Josh Naylor, 20-year-old Bo excelled in rookie ball during his debut professional season, walking 21 times in 117 at-bats and slashing .274/.381/.402. He played well in Single-A as well, racking up 11 home runs, 43 walks, and 18 doubles in 107 games for the Lake County Captains. That’s a 110 wRC+ for a 19-year-old in full-season affiliated ball — a catcher, no less.
Naylor is expected to stick at catcher, but he does not rate as an outstanding one. Unless something philosophically changes within the Cleveland organization — or Naylor proves to be an exceptional framer and game-caller — he may not have the tools Cleveland is looking for in a long-term backstop. Still, if the early returns on his bat stick throughout his minor-league career, he may be able to overcome some defensive average-ness on his way to being a Cleveland staple.
Offensively, Naylor’s biggest attribute his power, but a grooved swing may limit his overall hit tool. He is a projectable dream, though, entering only his age-20 season and with a bat already capable of hitting bombs and an older brother also in the majors to compare him to.
In a scouting report he did on himself (the full article on MLB.com is worth a read and gives great insight into Naylor’s character and feel for the game), Naylor described himself as having a compact torso, thick chest, and muscular arms. He also noted that he has a “balanced” and “patient” approach, which probably is not entirely wrong. After all, he walked 15% of the time in rookie ball and almost 10% of the time Single-A — the only real gap in his offensive gap is actually getting his bat to those pitches. Thus far it seems like he’s capable of reading them as well as you can expect a 19- or 20-year-old to do.
FanGraphs expects Naylor to debut in 2023, which sounds about right. He will likely start in High-A this year (now the Lake County Captains) and continue to hit big minor-league dingers.
Gabriel Arias, SS (Age 20)
2019 (A+ San Diego): 511 PA, .302./339/.470, 17 HR, 8 SB, 4.9.8 BB%, 25.0 K%, 120 wRC+
The top prospect return from the Mike Clevinger trade with San Diego, Arias is a middle infielder with serious pop, although has work to do with his patience at the plate and pitch selection.
Aaron Bracho, 2B (Age 19)
2019 (R): 137 PA, .296/.416/.593, 6 HR, 4 SB, 16.8 BB%, 15.3 K%, 162 wRC+
2019 (A-): 32 PA, .222/.344/.481, 2 HR, 0 SB, 15.6 BB%, 25.0 K%, 141 wRC+
Injury kept him from debuting in 2018, but the DR native made up for it in 2019, rebuilding his hype by posting incredible numbers in the AZL and earning a promotion to Mahoning Valley.
Daniel Espino, RHP (Age 20)
2019 (R): 6 GS, 13.2 IP, 30.2 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.98 ERA, 4.20 FIP
2019 (A-): 3 GS, 10.0 IP, 40.0 K%, 11.1 BB%, 6.30 ERA, 2.60 FIP
2019 first-round pick struck out a third of the batters he faced in rookie ball and only got more deadly in Low-A as a 19-year-old. Fastball sits in upper 90s, occasionally touching triple digits. The first Tribe prep prospect to earn a promotion the season he was drafted since Francisco Lindor.
Ethan Hankins, RHP (Age 20)
2019 (A-): 8 GS, 38.2 IP, 27.9 K%, 11.7 BB%, 1.40 ERA, 3.22 FIP
2019 (A): 5 GS, 21.1 IP, 29.8 K%, 12.8 BB%, 4.64 ERA, 4.80 FIP
Tops out at 97 mph with strikeout stuff, but command issues and injuries have slowed his development.
Brayan Rocchio, SS (Age 19)
2019 (A-): 295 PA, .250/.310/.373, 5 HR, 14 SB, 6.8 BB%, 13.6 K%, 107 wRC+
One of the top shortstop prospects in the Tribe system. Advanced for his age and possesses the tools to be a big part of the Tribe's future, although he's yet to play full-season ball.
Who should be Cleveland’s No. 6 prospect?
This poll is closed