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First-rounder visits Miami, hits 'em out in BP

Naylor, drafted 12th overall on Monday, reaches second deck in first action at future home

MIAMI -- Whatever jitters Josh Naylor may have experienced in his early round of batting practice Saturday, they quickly disappeared when he started smashing baseballs into the second deck at Marlins Park.

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Miami's first-round pick in the MLB Draft, Naylor joined the Marlins during their pregame workout before Saturday's game against the Rockies. As advertised, the left-handed-hitting first baseman showed plenty of power.

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So much so that when he was completing his last round, Rockies All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez joked with the 12th overall pick in the Draft.

"Stop hitting the ball so hard," Gonzalez quipped to Naylor.

Tweet from @JoeFrisaro: impressive power displayed by @JoshNaylor44 @ #Marlins Park

Naylor, who turns 18 on June 22, is an example that immense power has no age limit.

Several of Naylor's drives soared over the right-field wall at Marlins Park, with a few reaching the second deck. He even drove a ball into the flowers beyond the 418-foot marker in center field.

"I think it was great he came out and did kind of what he did," Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said. "He's got a long way to go to be what we want him to be. But it's nice, at least from a scouting perspective, when he walked in, guys weren't saying, 'Ah, wasn't too good.'

Video: Naylor thrilled to be drafted by the Marlins

"We like that he did what he did. That's what he does. He's got power and he can hit."

It's been a hectic month for Naylor, still a senior at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School in Canada. He graduates on June 25. At that time he will be eligible to sign professionally.

A deal is expected to be finalized with Miami right around that time.

For now, the business side of baseball is on hold. Saturday was a chance for Naylor to get a taste of the big leagues. He was accompanied by his father, mother and brother at Marlins Park. Wearing a No. 1 Marlins jersey, Naylor fielded grounders at first in addition to taking BP.

"It's an honor and I'm blessed that I'm here," Naylor said. "It's special for all of us [family] to be here. I'm very thankful to the Marlins' organization for picking me 12th. I'm just humbled."

Video: Draft 2015: Marlins draft 1B Josh Naylor No. 12

Naylor's bat speed and power were obvious. But the Marlins are confident the young first baseman will blossom into a complete hitter.

"Great kid. He's young," Meek said. "It was exciting to see him put the ball in the upper deck.

"But he can hit. He's not just a power hitter. He's a hitter and he's got big power. That will bode well for him as he goes up the ladder. I think he can use the whole field."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
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