Tyler Naquin

From BR Bullpen

Tyler Wesley Naquin

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Tyler Naquin was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round of the 2009 amateur draft. He did not sign, opting to attend Texas A&M instead. He was then chosen by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the 2012 amateur draft with the 15th overall pick. He made his pro debut with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on June 20th, going 3-for-4.

Naquin made the Indians' roster out of spring training in 2016 and made his debut as a pinch-hitter on Opening Day, April 5th, against the Boston Red Sox. He started the next day in center field and collected his first career hit, a single off Clay Buchholz in the 2nd inning. He quickly took over as the team's starting center fielder with Michael Brantley missing the start of the season with an injury and he hit an excellent .341 in April. In spite of that, he was optioned twice to the minor leagues in May, as Brantley was back, playing only 8 games for Cleveland during the month. He was back to stay on June 1st and had another outstanding month, hitting .338 with 14 extra-base hits (6 doubles, 3 triples and 5 homers) to be named the American League Rookie of the Month. He was one of the main contributors as Cleveland won its last 13 games of that month. He repeated as Rookie of the Month in July after batting .348 with 14 runs, 6 homers and 15 RBIs. He had back-to-back game-ending RBIs on August 18-19; the first came on a sacrifice fly as a pinch-hitter, but the second was truly spectacular, an inside-the-park walk-off homer against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays had entered the 9th with a 2-1 lead, but closer Roberto Osuna first coughed up a gopher ball to Jose Ramirez and Tyler followed with a drive that bounced off the top of the right-field fence out of the reach of RF Michael Saunders; CF Melvin Upton gave chase but Naquin dove head-first into home well ahead of the relay throw as Upton had fallen down while recovering the ball, losing more time. He finished his rookie season at .296, with 14 homers and 43 RBIs in 116 games, for an OPS+ of 128. He was third in the voting for the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year Award. In the postseason, he played 11 games as the Indians made it to Game 7 of the World Series, which they lost the Chicago Cubs in a heartbreaker. He was 4 for 23 (.174) with a pair of doubles and 2 RBIs.

Tyler failed to establish himself as a regular after his strong first season. He hit just .216 in 19 games in 2017 and .264 in 61 games in 2018. He did have a decent year in 2019, with an OPS+ of 103 in 89 games while hitting .288 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs, but he fell again in 2020, to an OPS+ of 70 in 40 games, after batting .218 with 4 homers and 20 RBIs. He returned to the postseason that year, but went 1 for 8 as the Indians were eliminated by the New York Yankees in two games in the Wild Card Series. That ended his tenure in Cleveland as he became a free agent after the season and was not pursued by the Indians.

On February 18, 2021, he moved downstate, signing with the Cincinnati Reds. He hit .270 in a career-high 127 games that year with 19 homers and 70 RBIs for his best overall season since his rookie year. His OPS+ was 107 as the team's regular centerfielder, playing alongside a duo of All-Stars in Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker. However, both had left by the time the 2022 season started, and the Reds had a very rough first few weeks. By then, Tyler had moved to right field, taking Winker's old spot, and his production was barely adequate, with a .245 average in 55 games, 6 homers and 31 RBIs. On July 28th, he was traded to the New York Mets along with P Phillip Diehl in return for two minor leaguers, Jose Acuna and Hector Rodriguez, as the Mets wanted to add some depth for the final two months of the season.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Anthony DiComo: "Mets acquire Naquin, LHP Diehl from Reds", mlb.com, July 28, 2022. [1]

Related Sites[edit]