TYLER WESLEY NAQUIN
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   OF
Home: Iola, TX Team:   COLUMBUS
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   L
Weight: 190 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/24/1991 Agent: Matt Laird
Uniform #: 30  
Birth City: Tyler, TX
Draft: Indians #1 - 2012 - Out of Texas A&M
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2012 NYP MAHONING VALLEY   36 137 22 37 11 2 0 13 4 3 17 26 .379 .380 .270
2013 EL AKRON   18 80 9 18 3 0 1 6 1 3 5 22 .271 .300 .225
2013 CAR CAROLINA   108 448 69 124 27 6 9 42 14 7 41 112 .345 .424 .277
2014 EL AKRON   76 304 54 95 12 5 4 30 14 3 29 71 .371 .424 .313
2015 IL COLUMBUS   50 186 34 49 13 0 6 17 6 2 25 49 .353 .430 .263
2015 EL AKRON   34 141 16 49 12 1 1 10 7 1 15 24 .419 .468 .348
2016 AL INDIANS   116 321 52 95 18 5 14 43 6 3 36 112 .372 .514 .296
2016 IL COLUMBUS   17 70 6 20 3 1 1 8 1 2 8 15 .354 .400 .286
2017 IL COLUMBUS   23 86 13 27 3 1 4 13 1 1 8 20 .368 .512 .314
2017 AL INDIANS   6 17 3 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 .278 .294 .235
Personal
  • In 2009, Naquin graduated from Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas. He hit .441 with 13 home runs and was all-state.His batting averages from his sophomore (.442), junior (.441) and senior (.439) years at Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, are the top three in school history.
  • Growing up in the Houston area, Naquin rooted for the Astros.
  • In 2009, Tyler was the Orioles' 33rd-round pick in the draft. But he did not sign, instead accepting a baseball scholarship to Texas A&M, majoring in kinesiology.

  • In 2012, Naquin hit .380 with the Aggies, with 18 doubles, six triples, three home runs, 49 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 61 games.
  • June 2012: The Indians chose Naquin with their first round pick in the draft—the 15th player picked overall.

    And Tyler signed with scout Kyle Van Hook, just 10 days later for $1.75 million, $500,000 below the $2.25 million value assigned to the 15th overall pick.

    "I couldn't fathom the thought of a guy out of college getting $1.75 million and trying to bug the team for a little more when not everybody in the draft is getting that slot number because of the new [CBA]," said Naquin. "I was able to get a lot of money, and I thought, 'Hey, if they want to give me that much money, I'm going to go out and start playing so I can get up to the Indians and help the big ballclub as soon as I can."

  • Naquin enjoys fishing, hunting, family and friends in his spare time.
  • The biggest part of his development may have come from the hours he spent out at a creek near his childhood home.

    “My dad would cut broomsticks for me and I’d go down to the creek after school and hit rocks for hours with my best friend, Mitch,” Naquin said. “I get a lot of hits on a lot of crappy pitches and people ask me how and I’m just like, ‘Dude, I can’t tell you how many bad rocks my buddy threw me and I just went down and smoked ’em.’ ”

  • Off the field. Naquin likes to keep things loose. He will often lighten the mood by making everyone. They laugh at his antics.

    "It's been impressive," said Akron manager Dave Wallace in June 2015. "Tyler is a great balance of keeping things light and fun but also including hard work. It's a special trait. He's obviously got the talent, but he's got the work ethic and the mind-set to go with it.

    "He's himself. He doesn't try to be anybody else," said Wallace. "He's comfortable in his own skin. He loves playing the game, the atmosphere of the whole season. That's what you want to see out of your guys."

  • Tyler’s father, Ken, built a diamond for his youth-league team on the family’s property alongside Spring Creek. “When you can go a hundred yards from your home to home plate with a wheelbarrow full of your baseball equipment, that’s nice,” he said.

  • In 2013, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Naquin as the third-best prospect in the Indians organization. He was at 4th-best in the winter before 2014 spring training.

    Early in 2016, they had Tyler as 6th-best prospect in the Tribe farm system.

  • Naquin compares himself to Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Tyler is a bit of a throwback player with a lot of passion for the game. He plays the game hard, no matter what the score is. He never takes an at-bat off.

    In addition to talent, he has an immense desire to improve and a willingness to make the adjustments needed to maximize his potential.

  • Naquin is comfortable in his own skin. He is himself. "Tyler is a great balance of keeping things light and fun but also including hard work. It's a special trait. He's obviously got the talent, but he's got the work ethic and the mind-set to go with it," Akron manager Dave Wallace said in 2015. "He loves playing the game."

  • Naquin makes 2016 Opening Day roster: The Indians haven't started a rookie on Opening Day since catcher Andy Allanson in 1986. But with presumed starter Abraham Almonte suspended, Naquin hit .397 with four home runs this spring—a performance that made him a candidate to win "Swing of the Day" every day. That kind of performance, both in numbers and approach, made a tough decision much easier for manager Terry Francona and GM Mike Chernoff. 
  • Tyler will never forget the feeling of seeing his name in the Indians' lineup for the first time. That moment arrived on April 6, 2016. There he was, penciled into the order as Cleveland's starting center fielder. That sheet of paper hanging on the clubhouse wall represented a lifelong dream realized. Then he went out and got his first hit in the first at-bat of his first start—he lined a single to right field off Red Sox Clay Buchholz.

    “I didn’t even feel myself touch first base,” Naquin said. “It was a very exciting moment for myself and my family.”

  • The breast cancer is gone. Roanna Naquin saw to that when she opted to undergo a bilateral mastectomy in November. After two scares in five years, she wanted the peace of mind. Most of all, she wanted to feel mentally and physically ready in time for baseball season.  

    This was going to be a big year for her youngest son, Indians rookie Tyler Naquin, and she was not going to let health stand in her way. He fought for a job in Spring Training and Roanna was there. He made Cleveland's roster for Opening Day. She was there. Cancer was not going to take that away. She proved that back in 2011, when she watched from a wheelchair as her boy played in the College World Series for Texas A&M.

    Only a handful of follow-up procedures remain now. During a recent appointment, her doctor suggested May 10 as a possible date for another minor surgery.  "I said, 'Oh no we won't,'" Roanna Naquin says with a laugh. "For heaven's sake, not then."

    The Indians will be in Houston for a three-game series through May 11, marking what could be a big homecoming for Naquin in his first big league season. Roanna has already been overwhelmed with phone calls, texts and e-mails from people wanting to be there to see Naquin play in his home state, and roughly a 25-mile drive from where he starred at Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas.

    Tyler cracks a smile when asked about his mom's drive to be there for as many of his games as possible. From the time he played for the Awesome Ducks, a T-ball team assembled by a group of fathers at a Texas church, and throughout his collegiate and Minor League seasons, Roanna has been there for him.

    "When I was about 12 or so, she worked 45 minutes away, close to Houston," Tyler said. "It'd be, like, a Wednesday night and she'd drive back home, get me, and then drive me another 35-45 minutes back out to the park. We did that for years. She was at every game." (Bastian - MLB.com - 5/4/16)

  • Naquin's admiration for his mom extends beyond baseball, though. Roanna survived breast cancer in 2011, but the disease fought back again in the fall of 2015.  In August 2015, while Tyler was playing for Triple-A Columbus, another breast cancer scare led Roanna back to the doctor. Nothing alarming was found in the initial tests, but she was tired of feeling frightened and worrying about every six-month checkup. Roanna decided to be proactive and have the double mastectomy done, even after the surgeon said it might have been an overly aggressive approach.

    In the wake of the 11-hour procedure on Nov. 16, Roanna's doctor informed her that Stage 2 cancer was found on her left side during surgery. It had gone undetected in numerous tests leading up to the operation. Had she not gone through with the procedure, it might not have been discovered for another six months. "I can't tell you how many mammograms and MRIs and ultrasounds I've had," Roanna said. "No one saw anything on my left side. It wasn't even a concern. It was a blessing that I did it."

    Naquin and his older brother, Zac, were there for their mom in the hospital. "She's just tough. Tough as nails, man. It's amazing," Tyler said. "You go see her after she had her double mastectomy, and she can barely even move. It's just me and my brother growing up, so me and him are extremely protective. It's hard seeing her do that.

    "Whenever a nurse had to come in there and move her and she's crying, me and Zac were sitting there, and your hands are sweating, because you feel like, 'Give us that pain. Don't put that on her.' But, she's tough as nails and just keeps on fighting."

    Roanna, who works in the dental field, is back to work full-time and is able to drive a car again. For that May 2016 series in Houston, Roanna has helped point family and friends to a section of seats out near the bullpen at Minute Maid Park. The young outfielder's fans will be out in force, cheering loudly for each at-bat. Throughout Naquin's playing days, Roanna hasn't been one for making much noise from the stands. She will probably not be too interested in small talk this time, either.

    "I want to go watch Ty play ball," Roanna said. "When I'm at a game, I'm watching ball. I'm not a talker. I don't want to chitty-chat."  After all, Roanna will have endured a lot in order to be there for that moment. She wants to savor it.  (Bastian - MLB.com - 5/4/16)

  • June/July 2016: Naquin became the first Indians player to win the AL Rookie of the Month twice in the same season.


  • On August 19, 2016, Tyler produced one of the Cleveland franchise’s most memorable moments on Aug. 19 last year when he became the first Indians player in 100 years to hit a walk-off inside-the-park home run.

    Naquin earned the American League’s rookie-of-the-month distinction in June and July. Overall, he hit .296/.372/.514 with 14 home runs in 116 games and finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.

    But there were signs late in the year that opposing pitchers had found some holes in Naquin’s swing. He hit just .193 in August. In his last 22 games, 11 in the regular season and the 11 in the postseason, he hit .208 with no home runs, three RBIs and 25 strikeouts in 53 at-bats.

  • March 18, 2017: Tyler Naquin was a teenager when Grady Sizemore was patrolling center field and emerging as a young star for the Indians. When Naquin watched Sizemore play, he saw the kind of player he envisioned himself developing into someday. "I grew up watching him," Naquin said. "People would kind of say, 'You kind of run into the wall like Sizemore.'"

    This spring, Naquin headed into camp fresh off a standout rookie campaign as Cleveland's center fielder, and Sizemore put on his coach's hat and joined the fold as an advisor to player development. In working with the outfielders each morning, Sizemore has formed a strong relationship with Naquin, offering another set of eyes and ears for the young outfielder.

     Naquin said he has appreciated the bond that has taken shape with Sizemore. They have worked on defensive techniques, talked hitting and discussed plenty of other aspects of being a big league center fielder.

    "I've got nothing but good things to say about Grady," Naquin said. "First time I met him and I feel like I've known him for years and years. I think anybody would vouch for that. Grady's just a good dude on and off the field. But on the field, the man's got a couple Gold Gloves. The way he played the game. It's similar -- going all out.

    "He's helpful, because he's still at that age to where I can relate to him as a player. He's fresh off the field. I wish Grady wasn't even here. I wish he was still playing. But, being able to have him is awesome -- absolutely awesome."

    "I definitely see a lot of similarities," said Sizemore, asked if he sees a little of himself in Cleveland's current center fielder. "He's just getting started. It's fun to kind of be a part of that and just try to help him out and really just kind of be there for him to kind of pick my brain and work through stuff." (J Bastian - MLB.com - March 18, 2017)

Batting
  • Naquin's calling card is his quick lefthanded bat. He knows spraying the ball around the park is his strength. He has a controlled approach at the plate, focusing on staying inside the ball and employing the opposite field.
  • Tyler's hand-eye coordination he developed is evident at the plate, and he’s able to drive balls to the opposite field with authority. His strength is his plate approach and overall ability to rake. He has quick hands and exceptional bat control, allowing him to spray line-drives all over the yard.

    “He’s got a little Will Clark in that swing,” a National League crosschecker said. “I saw him hit a ball to the left of second base, and you would have thought a righthander hit that ball.”

  • Naquin just exudes confidence at the plate. He squares up the ball, but doesn't hit for much power at all. He will need to incorporate his lower half better and turn on more pitches in order to maximize his gap power. Because of his quick hands and good vision, he can let the ball travel very deep into the hitting zone. He handles breaking balls very well and is a good bunter.

  • Tyler gets good swings whether he's ahead or behind in the count and has a knack for centering the baseball. He is a truly pure hitter.

  • He has nice balance and a mature approach at the plate. He has good hand-eye coordination and has no issues handling breaking pitches. He has a natural feel to hit.

  • In 2013, Naquin spread out his stance to give himself a stronger base and allow him to use his legs better. However, scouts would like to see him turn on inside pitches with more authority rather than looking to flick them the other way.

    Tyler came to the realization that his approach in the batter’s box wouldn’t continue to pay dividends as he encountered more advanced pitching. So at the recommendation of the Indians roving minor league hitting coach Alan Zinter, Naquin began to broaden the base of his batting stance around the all-star break.

    “I’d always had a pretty narrow stance and stood straight up,” said Naquin. “It worked for me at the time because I still got hits even though I was hitting off my front foot a lot. But they weren’t always solid hits, which meant I’d run into trouble sooner or later hitting like that.”

  • Tyler has below-average power but he can accumulate extra bases with his above-average speed and aggressiveness.

  • February 6, 2014: Naquin spent the winter before 2014 spring training improving. He got stronger, adding about 15 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame. He said he now weighs 186 pounds. Perhaps more importantly, Naquin used his time in the Arizona Fall League to finish making changes to his stance that he began during the summer. Working with Indians coaches, Naquin said he was able to find a happy medium between the narrow stance he used in college and the wide one he used last season.

    "These guys have been able to help me out to get more in my legs, but staying taller and using my hands, not chasing, controlling the strike zone," Naquin said. "My hand-eye coordination is pretty solid, so they just want to maximize that to my potential."

    He is confident he has found something that works and will be able to carry his positive momentum into this year. Atkins said the change in Naquin's stance should allow him to hit for more power, but the real benefit is that it makes him a more consistent hitter. While Atkins said he thinks the change will help Naquin, what he likes most is that it was Naquin who came to the Indians with the idea.

    "This is a guy who's had a ton of success doing something in a manner that helped him have that success and he was willing to change that," Atkins said. "We didn't feel like he needed to, but felt like he would benefit from it. There's a subtle difference there."

    "Just grind it out, just have fun," Naquin said. "My big thing is having fun. You can drive yourself crazy if you don't."

  • Tyler always has been a handsy hitter, but he made an adjustment to broaden his stance in the middle of 2013.

    Things really started clicking when hehit .339 in the Arizona Fall League, and he continued to improve in 2014. He created more leverage in his swing and consistently stayed up the middle. He takes a quiet approach in the box and hits to all fields with a line-drive swing.

    Naquin shows pop at times, too, though he’ll likely max out at around 12 homers a year.

  • July 19, 2016: Naquin hit two home runs and drove in six runs as the Indians beat Kansas City, 11-4, at Kauffman Stadium. The six RBIs tied a club record for rookies.
Fielding
  • Tyler has a very impressive right field arm, earning 65-70 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale and a don't-run-on-him reputation.

    But with his lack of power (but high batting average) as a hitter, Naquin profiles best in center field. And he will have to stay in center because of that lack of home run pop, in order to be an everyday player.

  • Naquin has the range and instincts to make a go of it in center field. He runs well and his routes and jumps are solid. Opponents already think twice about running on his strong ar.

    Tyler lacks ideal power for a corner. Some scouts are less enamored of Naquin’s ability to stick in center and see him as a fourth outfielder.

Running
  • Tyler is  a solid runner who flashes plus speed at times.
  • Naquin needs to use his solid speed more aggressively on the bases. And you could see he was meeting the chalenge following the 2013 regular season in the Arizona Fall League.
Career Injury Report
  • August 2012: Naquin misssed most of August with a back injury but returned in time to participate in the low Class A Midwest League playoffs.
  • June 28, 2014: Tyler was on the D.L after he was hit with a pitch on the right hand. Naquin then immediately turned towards the dugout and headed to a hospital to find he’d suffered a fracture of the second metacarpal bone—in four places. Surgery was required.

    Now, he has a scar running from just under the knuckle at the base of his right index finger extending about three inches down and is a gnarly reminder of the pitch that broke his hand.

    "I just felt a sharp pain in my hand—I was on my knee on the ground," said Naquin of the incident that came on a pitch tailing inside from Harrisburg lefty Bryan Harper. "I lifted it up and Jeremy Heller, our trainer, was standing right there and said, 'What do you got?' I said, 'It's broken,' walked straight off the field, got the X-ray and got the news right away."

    The X-rays revealed that Naquin had broken the second metacarpal bone in four places.

    After a successful surgery, he was in a splint for two weeks before starting the rehab process, which included a few at-bats in the Dominican Winter League late in 2014, and a couple of weeks in extended spring training in 2015 at the Indians' facilities in Arizona.

  • April 2015: Tyler missed most of the month with a quad strain.

  • July 30-Aug. 16, 2015: Naquin was on the D.L. with a concussion after he crashed hard into the center-field wall at Huntington Park in a game.

  • August 26, 2015: Tyler was on the D.L. with a right hip strain.


  • June 13, 2017: Naquin came off the DL.