The stage is set for a perfect major league debut.
With the Padres making the trip up north to Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, Canada, to take on the Blue Jays this weekend, reinforcements are being called up for the road trip.
The San Diego Padres are going to be calling up Josh Naylor to make his debut.
Naylor, currently the No. 9 Padres prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was born in Canada and played his high school days in St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School, which is just a 25-mile drive (or 41-kilometer drive for those who prefer the metric system) to Rogers Centre, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was the secondary school where Naylor was drafted by the Miami Marlins with the 12th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. He eventually made his way to the Padres via trade in 2016. Playing at Rogers Centre in front of family and friends would serve as kind of a homecoming for Naylor.
Sources: The Padres are calling up Josh Naylor. He is a Mississauga native who will make his major-league debut in neighboring Toronto.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) May 24, 2019
Plus, the Padres can take advantage of a position in the American League that they will never get (for now, at least) in the National League; the designated hitter. For six games (counting the three-game series against the New York Yankees), Andy Green can utilize Naylor at the DH spot while continuing to field an outfield of Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot, and Franmil Reyes.
So far, Naylor has been hitting the cover off the ball in Triple-A El Paso, collecting a batting line of .299/.378/.538 with ten home runs and 35 RBI. While those numbers can be taken with a grain of salt due to the hitter’s paradise that is the Pacific Coast League, his 22.2% HR/FB, .384 wOBA, and 6.5 wRAA discredit the PCL talk while crediting the offensive prowess Naylor brings to a lineup. He has continued to show improved plate discipline with El Paso as Naylor has walked 24 times while striking out 24 times, leading to more run-scoring opportunities and better hitting counts to demonstrate his light tower power.
Whether Naylor will be sticking with the team long term or making a six-game cameo remains to be seen. If he flexes his muscles at the Major League level by bashing homers while displaying a patient approach at the plate, San Diego will have no choice but to keep him up. Since he is not on the 40-man roster, someone will have to get bumped off. The best guess is Alex Dickerson, as the Poway native has struggled to a .158 batting average at the highest level.
The stage is set for Naylor to shine. With his minor league pedigree, patience at the plate, and tremendous power, he has everything he needs to step up to the opportunity.