MIAMI -- Josh Naylor put on a show in batting practice on Sunday, belting seven home runs and impressing with his pure power. The 19-year-old remained locked in during the game, delivering a couple of singles and an RBI for the World Team in its 11-3 victory over the United
MIAMI -- Josh Naylor put on a show in batting practice on Sunday, belting seven home runs and impressing with his pure power. The 19-year-old remained locked in during the game, delivering a couple of singles and an RBI for the World Team in its 11-3 victory over the United States squad in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Petco Park.
Naylor, the Marlins' second ranked prospect by MLBPipeline.com, came as advertised. He showed he's a threat in a ballpark that has a reputation of being tough on long-ball hitters. He entered in the sixth inning and lined a run-scoring single into center on the second pitch he saw.
The left-handed-hitting first baseman added a single in a seven-run ninth inning when the World Team broke the game open.
The Marlins' first-round pick in 2015, Naylor was all smiles after participating in the showcase prospect event that launches the All-Star Game activities.
"I had too much fun, it was phenomenal," Naylor said.
The success in the game came after Naylor repeatedly peppered home runs to right and center fields in batting practice. His seven drives over the outfield wall were the most of anyone on the World Team in warmups.
A native of Missassauga, Ontario, Naylor was the lone representative of the Marlins in the Futures Game. He was a factor, helping the World Team's comeback efforts by going 2-for-3.
"It's a big accomplishment," Naylor said, "but my confidence is through the roof. I know who I am and what I can do.
"I try not to get down on myself too much, just have fun with it, and today, I couldn't stop smiling. It was an incredible experience."
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In his first full professional season, Naylor is batting .254/.311/.426 with nine home runs, 18 doubles and 47 RBIs.
"I know it's an honor for Josh to represent the organization," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "The Futures Game is a tremendous game with some of the best prospects in the game. For Josh to be considered with those guys is a great honor."
While Naylor has big league power, he's known as a hitter that drives the ball to all fields. In his first taste of professional ball last year, Naylor hit .327 with one home run in 25 Gulf Coast League games.
"He's never been a power hitter. He's been a hitter with power," Hill said. "So you like to see him hit for a high average and get on base and drive runners in. That's his strength."
Naylor has repeatedly shown he can perform on big stages. In 2014 he participated in the MLB Junior Home Run Derby during MLB All-Star Week at Target Field.
"He was pretty much a superstar in Canada," Hill said. "He's taken everything in stride. Just happy for the success that he's been able to have to this point."
Hill said the Futures Game will also be good for Naylor's focus toward reaching the Major Leagues.
Whether Naylor will eventually be a part of Miami's young core is still undetermined, but he's on a familiar path. Both Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich were Futures Game participants in 2012 before they debuted the next year, while Giancarlo Stanton took part in the game in '09 before debuting in '10.
"We try not to put pressure on these guys and let their ability speak for themselves," Hill said. "[Naylor] is someone who we wouldn't be surprised if his ability moved him through fairly fast."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.