Getting to know your prospects: Tyler Naquin

BY foxsports • August 3, 2013

Name: Tyler NaquinPosition: Center fieldCurrent team: High-A Carolina MudcatsAge: 22Height: 6’2”Weight: 175Bats: LeftThrows: Right2013 stats: .286 AVG, 64 R, 24 2B, 6 3B, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 37 BB, 99 K, 12 SB, .789 OPS
Facts & Info: The Indians selected Naquin in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Texas A&M. He was originally drafted out of high school by the Orioles in the 33rd round in 2009. His final season in college in 2012 he was a first-team All-Big 12 selection and was also a semifinalist for the 212 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and received Louisville Slugger third-team All-American honors. He was named Big 12 Player of the Year as a sophomore.
The Offense: Naquin brings a broad range of tools with an advanced approach at the plate and a good feel for hitting. He exudes confidence in the batter’s box and he displays very good hand-eye coordination and feel with the bat that many believe will translate to making him an above-average hitter. He has really good bat speed with a knack to center the baseball, and he uses the whole field well. Naquin has the ability to drive the ball into the gap and the opposite way. His power is below average, but it is improving and showing itself more. The Indians believe there is still some untapped power in there.
The Defense: To go along with his plus bat, Naquin also features what many consider a plus-plus arm in the outfield. He did not play center field in college, but he has made a smooth transition to the position as a pro and the Indians believe he can stay there. His versatility to play all three outfield roles will serve as a good fallback option for him down the road as a fourth outfielder type if he struggles with the consistency of his bat and defense.
The Intangibles: Naquin is a slightly above average runner who is smart, is a gamer. He has good baseball instincts and a great makeup. He has a quiet demeanor off the field, but when he gets on the field he is loud with the way he plays. 
The Focus: One of the biggest areas of focus is on his continued transition to center field. He lacks the power to be an everyday corner outfielder, but with his on-base ability, arm and bat he profiles well as an everyday center fielder. He is maxed out physically so the development with his power will have to come from his approach and being more selective in finding pitches he can drive. The strikeouts are a big concern and improving his discipline is a must.
The Future: Naquin is having a solid showing this year in his first full season as a pro. The Indians really like his overall skillset as he is a multi-dimensional player that does a lot of the things needed at the major league level to win games. His performance so far this season should land him at Double-A Akron by the end of the season and he should open there next season.