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Padres Bank Big On Naylor

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Josh Naylor (Photo by Bill Mitchell) Josh Naylor (Photo by Bill Mitchell)[/caption]

SAN DIEGOThe Padres, always on the lookout for young talent, dealt big league righthander Andrew Cashner to the Marlins at the trade deadline, just when he finally began to pitch well.

The Padres expect that 19-year-old Josh Naylor, the top prospect they received in return, will challenge for the first-base job in a few years.

Naylor has excellent strength and a lefthanded swing that impressed the Padres. The Marlins’ 2015 first-round selection hit .269/.317/.430 with 24 doubles and nine home runs at low Class A Greensboro, but also made 11 errors in 81 games at first base.

"Everybody talks about the bat all the time,” general manager A.J. Preller said. "I think we’ll put a big emphasis and make sure, defensively, he knows how much we value that and how important that is. I think he has the capability of being a good first baseman.”

The Marlins drafted Naylor with the 12th overall pick in 2015 out of a high school in Mississauga, Ont., and signed him below slot for $2.25 million.

After acquiring Naylor, the Padres promoted him to high Class A Lake Elsinore, where he batted .304 with two doubles, two home runs and 17 RBIs in his first 16 games with the Storm. His first home run for the organization was an eighth-inning grand slam on Aug. 6.

He also had made three errors since joining Lake Elsinore, giving him 14 on the season.

Naylor, who is 6 feet and 225 pounds, receives high grades for raw power. Though his arm strength is well above-average, his below-average speed probably will limit him to first base.

The Padres had a lot of luck with the last Marlins first-round first baseman they acquired in trade. Adrian Gonzalez, then at Triple-A, became a standout for several Padres team.


• The Padres returned righthander Luis Castillo to the Marlins after a big league pitcher they included in the Cashner trade, righty Colin Rea, departed his first Marlins start with an elbow injury that will require Tommy John surgery.


2018 Position Rankings: First Base

The best of this year's first base prospects project as solid everyday players.

• The Padres and Triple-A El Paso extended their player-development contract through 2018. The two have partnered since 2014.

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