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Evaluating Guardians Prospects

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With the 2022 MLB season (hopefully) approaching, it’s important to focus on some Guardians prospects that could potentially make some noise.

Gavin Williams

GREENVILLE, NC – JUNE 1: East Carolina Pirates Gavin Williams (26) throws a pitch during a game between the East Carolina Pirates and the Quinnipiac Bobcats on May 31, 2019 at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, NC (Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 23rd overall pick in the previous MLB Draft has yet to make his professional debut. However, that doesn’t stop the buzz this kid draws everywhere he toes the rubber. Williams is coming off an elite 2021 college season at East Carolina. Serving as their ace, he twirled 81.1 innings and posted a 1.88 ERA dominating his opponents. The numbers don’t stop there, Williams picked up 130 strikeouts while giving up just 21 free passes. Williams started becoming a household name when he fanned 13 against Vanderbilt in the College World Series Super Regional.

The Guardians are an organization notorious for developing pitchers into perennial All-Stars, and Williams looks to be another future example of that. His upper 90’s fastball will only get better as he becomes polished. I expect the Guardians number 9 prospect to have a big first year of pro ball in 2022.

Nolan Jones

CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 13: Nolan Jones #95 of the Cleveland Indians warms up before an intrasquad game during summer workouts at Progressive Field on July 13, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)

Jones was selected in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft by Cleveland, in hopes that his raw power would translate at the big league level. Although the 23-year-old hasn’t got the call up to The Show yet, many are thinking 2022 may be his year. The third baseman has superstar Jose Ramirez in front of him but is flexible in the outfield as well.

During AAA in 2021, Jones slashed .238/.356/.431. Not bad, but not exactly setting the world on fire. In order to increase his chances of getting called up, he may want to increase that batting average a bit. Not to mention, Jones only hit 13 home runs in 2021; he should be shooting for at least 20. 2022 is a critical year for Jones, as he looks to put together a full and impressive season. The tools are there for the Pennsylvania native; he just needs to figure out how to use them.

Bo Naylor

TEMPE, ARIZONA – MARCH 16: Bo Naylor #80 of the Cleveland Indians looks on in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels during the MLB spring training baseball game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 16, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

After producing a solid 2019 season in A ball, Naylor was promoted to AA in 2021. The 21-year-old struggled to hit, posting a clip of .188 with 112 strikeouts. The good news for Naylor is that he’s still extremely young. Being one of the youngest players in AA and missing all of 2020 with no minor league season, he was given a tall task. Naylor should be able to adjust and get comfortable in 2022, increasing his underwhelming numbers.

The Canadian Catcher has shown improvements on defense, stealing strikes, and throwing out runners. Naylor comes from a baseball family, as his brother Josh plays upon the Guardians Major League team. According to MLB.com, Bo currently sits at the number 6 spot on the Guardians prospect list and is expected to take big strides this coming season.

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main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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