Drew Silva looks at what the Cleveland Guardians need ahead of the trade deadline as they look to take the AL Central and how they may have some options within the organization, including up-and-comer Josh Naylor.
DREW SILVA: As the Cleveland Guardians aim to make a surprise run at the AL Central crown, their biggest need is offense. They are sure to seek out bats on the trade market, and will also be asking for better offensive results from some of the players that already populate their roster. Josh Naylor is one of those internal options that would seem capable of providing a spark-- in fact, he's already doing just that.
Since the beginning of July, the 25-year-old first baseman and corner outfielder has batted 0.346, with a 0.971 OPS across 56 plate appearances. He has 18 hits, four of them homers, in 15 games since the calendar flipped over from June. On the season, Naylor is batting 0.282 with an 0.836 OPS, 13 home runs, and 51 RBIs in 66 games played, while ranking in the 86th percentile of all MLB hitters in max exit velocity. With runners in scoring position, usually one of them being Jose Ramirez, Naylor is batting 0.357 with a 1.038 OPS. He could very well keep his cleanup spot, even if the Guardians do make middle of the lineup upgrades.