LOS ANGELES – It is already rare to have a pair of siblings both play a professional sport, but to play on the same team? Well, that is like finding a needle in a haystack. Enter the Naylor brothers.
Josh and Bo Naylor are players for the Cleveland Guardians organization. Josh is a first baseman, currently in the majors, while Bo is a catcher, currently on the Guardians AA affiliate, the Akron RubberDucks.
Josh and Bo Naylor with some brotherly love: pic.twitter.com/ws2AEzodlP
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) February 27, 2021
At 24 years-old, Josh is the older of the two and was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2015 draft by the Miami Marlins. He was then traded to the San Diego Padres in 2016, and ended up making his debut with the team in 2019. In 2020, he was traded again, this time to the Guardians, where he has batted .255, with eight home runs, and 28 RBI during his time with the team. Josh ended up making history in the 2020 playoffs, when he was the first player to go five for his first five career postseason plate appearances. In 2021, his season was cut short in late June when he suffered multiple fractures and ligament tearing in his right leg and ankle in a collision with teammate Ernie Clement.
Oh man…. Josh Naylor just had a nasty collision and is in incredible pain.
Probably don’t want to watch if you have a squeamish stomach…. pic.twitter.com/dTL5LTtNDI
— Tyler Wiederhoeft (@TDWiederhoeft) June 27, 2021
After last year’s unfortunate ending, Josh has been off to a very impressive start to the 2022 campaign. So far, he is batting .306, with one home run, and five RBI, to go with a .324 OBP, .444 SLG, and a .768 OPS.
The younger of the two brothers, Bo — currently 22 — was selected with the 29th pick in the 2018 MLB draft by the Guardians. In his 2022 campaign for the RubberDucks, Bo, whose first name is actually Noah, is batting .244, with one home run, and five RBI, with a .358 OBP, .422 SLG, and a .780 OPS.
Currently, there are no Black catchers in the Majors and there has not been an everyday Black catcher since Charles Johnson, who has been retired since 2005. Bo certainly has the potential to be the Guardians everyday catcher, and be the lone representative in the one position in baseball where Black players don’t get any shine.
Josh and Bo have some elite company, as there have been very few Black brother pairings in the history of the game. Some of the more notable Black brother pairings are Hank Aaron and his brother Tommie, who played together on the Braves in 1962-63, 1965, and 1968-1971, Chris and Tony Gwynn, who played together in 1996, and most-recently, Justin and B.J. Upton, who played together on the Braves and Padres from 2013 to 2015.
Josh and Bo have a third brother, Myles, who is currently in high school and has committed to play college baseball at Texas Tech. There have only been two trios in MLB history to play on the same team, and the Guardians clearly are fond of the Naylor family. Could the Naylor trio become the first Black trio to play together in MLB history? While unlikely, stranger things have happened.