Where do you put him?
There has never really been a question about Naylor’s bat. Despite the poor showing with the Padres in 2019, I still believe he can be a really good Major League hitter.
Over five Minor League season he hit .288/.351 with a .791 OPS and 50 home runs in 1,742 at-bats.
But the question with Naylor has always been, where does he play?
He came into the league as a first baseman and that’s where the bulk of his playing time has been in the minors.
However, after San Diego signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal, that pretty much ended any chance of Naylor playing first base.
And it’s not like he was a great defender at first to begin with. MLB.com noted that he would likely be a below-average defender at first.
Certainly he does not belong in the outfield either where he put up a – 2.2 UZR in 2019 with 6 errors in 64 games in the outfield.
To put that in perspective, that ranked him with the third most errors among outfielders last year and he played by far the least amount of games as those the others who made the same amount errors.
What do you do when you have a player who can hit but has no position in the field? You make him a DH.
And as for now, at least, the National League doesn’t have a DH even though it sounds like that could be coming soon.