Astros Draft

Astros Draft 2018: Could catcher Noah Naylor fall to the Astros?

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HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03: Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow waves to the crowd during the Houston Astros Victory Parade on November 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 to win the 2017 World Series. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 03: Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow waves to the crowd during the Houston Astros Victory Parade on November 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 to win the 2017 World Series. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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One player that could fall to the Astros in the draft is someone that has participated in the Future Stars Series with Jeremy Booth.

The Houston Astros are in a different situation this year. They are drafting at the end of the first round. Unlike the NFL draft, these players are not needed immediately. Also, who goes first is up in the air until right before the draft begins. The Astros are in a situation where they don’t need any particular player in the draft so that they can go with best available.

Drafting 28th in the first round means all the stud high school and college pitchers are already gone. There will most likely not be any Forrest Whitley‘s available, but there will be some high school hitters with impressive skills. These players have the tools but may need time to develop, as we have seen with Kyle Tucker.

When we look at the positions of need for the Astros, they do not look what is on the current roster. This is what my Talking Stros co-host Brandon suggested on the show last night. One of the positions that could be a need could be a catcher. After trading Jake Rogers as part of the Justin Verlander trade, it opens up the catcher of the future. Max Stassi is the current catcher, and Garrett Stubbs or Chuckie Robinson could be next.

A catcher could be available when the Astros pick

When we were discussing the draft, Brandon was telling me who he thought the Astros should draft. He suggested shortstop Brice Turang and catcher Noah Naylor. Something clicked in my head when he said, Naylor. Naylor was part of Jeremy Booth’s New Balance Future Star Series, and we went to one of their events. We interviewed some of the best high school players in the country.

When we asked Booth who we should interview, the first words out of his mouth was Naylor. When I looked up Naylor, I saw that he was kind of a big deal. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to interview him. We did get to meet him. Booth knows how to scout, and I trust him, and he seemed excited about MLB Pipeline’s 27th ranked draft prospect, Naylor.

Naylor is from Ontario, Canada. His older brother, Josh, was drafted by the Marlins in the 2015 draft with the 12th overall pick. Naylor is committed to going to Texas A&M, but he is projected to go in the early first round. Below is what Booth had to say about Naylor.

"“The last high school player that excited me like this was Sonny Gray,” Booth said. “Middle of the diamond defender, impact bat, Future 80 arm. He’s obvious and you can check the boxes. Baseball rat with aptitude to make adjustments. Exceptional makeup. Special kid.  Pure hitter with easy game changing power.”"

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He may not last to 28.

While Naylor is a catcher, he could play third base as well. The only problem is that the Blue Jays draft 12th and they already know who Naylor is, being a hometown-ish player. According to CanadianBaseballNetwork.com, Naylor is the top Canadian prospect in the draft. The Blue Jays couldn’t pass him up, right?

While he is not the top-ranked catcher in this year’s draft, that is Joey Bart. Naylor is the best high school catcher in the draft via MLB Pipeline. Bart is a junior at Georgia Tech who has improved his stock in the 2018 draft.

Naylor has already made his presence felt in the MLB during last year’s High School Homerun Deby during the All-Star week. He won that contest. According to MLB Pipeline, his defense behind the plate is behind his batting skills. He does have a strong arm, which could play well as a catcher or at third base.

Next: After facing top teams in the AL, the schedule gets easier

If Naylor would be able to drop down to the Houston Astros, maybe they need to give Jeremy Booth a call. He could be the answer at catcher that we lost by trading Rogers. Because he was a high school student, he will be given time to improve his skills as a receiver. While there may be other intriguing high school players, I trust Booth. It doesn’t hurt that he could be a slugging catcher in the big leagues.

***Stats from MLB Pipeline***

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