Self scouting report: Indians' Bo Naylor

March 31st, 2020

TORONTO -- Bo Naylor is carving out his own path.

Though the 20-year-old catcher is often paired in conversation with his Major League brother, Josh -- who made his big league debut for the Padres last season -- the younger Naylor spent the 2019 season making waves of his own.

At more than two years younger than the average player in the Midwest League, Cleveland’s No. 3 prospect -- according to MLB Pipeline -- slashed .243/.313/.421 with 11 home runs, 10 triples, 18 doubles, seven stolen bases, 60 runs and 65 RBIs in over 107 games for the Class A Lake County Captains.

The success of the Indians’ first-round pick in the 2018 Draft, selected 29th overall, led to another accolade for the Mississauga, Ont., native from Baseball Canada. In January, at the national organization’s annual banquet and fundraiser in Toronto, Naylor was given the Canadian Futures Award, the third consecutive year the young backstop has been honored in his home country at the event.

Beyond the stage, the 6-foot, 195-pound left-handed-hitting catcher is excited to take everything he learned in his first full season and continue to use the tools that he brings to the table for the upcoming year with the Indians.

Evaluating himself using a Major League Scouting Bureau report and the 20-to-80 scouting scale, basing his grades on the standards set by the Bureau, Naylor highlighted a number of areas with room for improvement and others knows where he wants to keep making strides.

Top tools

The young backstop gave himself the highest future grades in his arm strength and range, believing there's a chance for both to be at least above average and potentially well above average.

“Growing up, I feel like having a strong arm was one of my stronger abilities,” Naylor said. “And as I progress through my career, I can only make that greater and progress in the field with my arm strength. For my range, I feel like I control the game really well, my pitchers, and my position overall. If I keep working at it, then I can take that to another level.”

Room to improve

While Naylor jumped the majority of his tools a full grade from where he is at present to where he believes he can get in the future, he made the biggest jumps -- a grade and a half -- in his hitting ability and his power.

“Really, I just need to use all my resources like the weight room and the coaching staff that I have with me,” he said. “Using those tools and the resources that I have all around me to help me get to that next level will help make the biggest jump for me. I feel like as I progress, then those two tools will help me make the biggest jump in my game.”

Scouting the scout

Offering insight into his own game and grading himself, Naylor admitted that he doesn’t have a lot of experience with scouting reports, but he understands what he brings to the table.

“I do have a general knowledge of the 20-to-80 scale and how tools are graded,” he said. “I do have a lot of confidence in myself too, and what my future could be for my career. So I feel like I generally have a good idea of how I am as a player and what I could become.”

What the scouts say

“He’s got a long way to go, but there’s a lot of projection there, and he’s young,” one professional evaluator said. “He’s a thick backstop who moves well for his size and is athletic, but he has to maintain his physique going forward. His arm is going to be solid eventually and has been decent so far. He’s shown fringe power and made hard contact but has struggled with offspeed pitches and constantly gets into pitchers’ counts.”

“He had 10 triples this year in the Midwest League, and the power numbers for his age were impressive,” an American League scout said. “He’s got a chance to be a decent player and can play behind the plate. Catchers take longer to develop than any other position by far, because there’s so much more to learn, but he’s got a good chance to bring value to their club and his best shot is behind the plate.”

What’s missing

“My game awareness,” Naylor said of what the report doesn’t assess. “I feel like I control a lot of different aspects of the game offensively and defensively well that wouldn’t show up on a scouting report like that. I feel like that will definitely play with my teammates and the game around me. That’s another level of the game that I feel like I can definitely master pretty quick.”