Bo Naylor will be one of 50 prospects taking center stage on July 11 at the All-Star Futures Game. He will be Cleveland's sole representative on the American League team, and backing up one of the top prospects in baseball, Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, behind the plate.
Since the Futures Game was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic last season, this will be the second year of the AL vs. NL format, following 20 years of pitting prospects born in the United States against those from outside the country. As a result, Bo will be teamed up some notable American League prospects such as outfielder Jasson Dominguez (Yankees), third baseman Spencer Torkelson (Tigers), shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (Royals), and of course Adley Rutschman.
Bo, the other younger brother of Cleveland outfielder Josh Naylor, is given the honor of participating despite some struggles acclimating to Double-A pitching. He is slashing .183/.271/.270 on the year for the Akron RubberDucks, with a 10.9% walk rate and 36.4% strikeout rate. He has slowly begun to adjust, however, and he has eight hits (two doubles) in his last 21 at-bats. It’s also worth noting that he is just 21 years old, playing a league where the average age is over 22, and still holding his own enough to be recognized as one of the minor league baseball’s best catchers.
Since the game’s inauguration in 1999, Cleveland has had one player win the game’s most valuable player award. Grady Sizemore took home the honors in 2003, the first year that the award was officially changed to the Larry Doby Award in honor of the late Cleveland legend who broke the American League color barrier when he debuted in 1947.