If you happened to watch the postseason, you probably saw Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha shutting down opponents (with the exception of Game 6 of the World Series).  Wacha was drafted 19th overall in the 2012 draft, four spots after the Indians selected Tyler Naquin 15th overall.  (Naquin and Wacha were also teammates at Texas A&M).  It’s far, far too early to determine whether or not Naquin over Wacha was a bad choice.  I’ve had some concerns though, particularly since a lot of scouts have said they were surprised Naquin went in the first round, and that he projects more as a fourth outfielder.  Of course, those predictions could be incorrect; but with the Indians’ long list of first round mistakes during the 2000s, I’m obviously likely to be a bit paranoid.

That’s why I was pleased to hear that Naquin has been performing well during the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Surprise Saguaros.  It’s an offense-heavy league, and obviously a small and limited sample size; at the same time, it’s still good to see.  Naquin is hitting .364/.429/.568; he is fifth in the league in batting average.  He earned player of the week honors for the league’s third week as he went 8 for 20 and had a league-high seven RBI.  At one point, Naquin had a 13-game hitting streak during AFL action.

Naquin was also selected to serve as DH on the “west” all star team for the AFL on Saturday, November 1 at Surprise Stadium, alongside highly-touted prospects like Byron Buxton from the Minnesota Twins and Delino DeShields, Jr. from the Houston Astros.  The west won 9-2 and Naquin went 1 for 4 with a run scored.

Naquin spent the 2013 season splitting time between the Class-A Carolina Mudcats (108 games) and the Double-A Akron Aeros (18 games).  With Carolina, Naquin hit .277/.345/.424 with 9 home runs and 14 stolen bases; in Akron he hit .225/.271/.300 with 1 home run and 1 stolen base.  The 22-year-old will likely start the season back in Akron with the newly named Rubber Ducks.


  • medfest says:

    I think the Indians deep thinkers fell in love with the idea of a good OBP centerfielder with a “five” arm.If they drafted Naquin and he ends playing a corner spot it’s another wasted first round pick.

  • Leo says:

    Think it was also to spread the money around. Naquin came in under slot to get Mitch Brown and Keiran Lovegrove who were both considered to be tough signs.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    Money had to be the factor so many people passed on Mike Trout, right? It was before the new CBA, but money/signability was still an issue prior to it. I just can’t imagine so many people passing him over…he didn’t go until 25 overall in 2009.