As the 2022 playoffs have arrived, the Cleveland Guardians have taken stride in September, as they pulled away from the Twins and the White Sox late to earn the third seed in the AL playoff bracket. A huge thanks can be made to their starting first baseman and middle of the lineup hitter.

Naylor played a total of 122 in the regular season, and has been a super consistent and reliable piece to Cleveland’s puzzle. He batted .256, with 20 home runs and 79 RBI. He had a .319 on-base percentage and a .452 slugging percentage. He had a total of 115 hits, while only striking out a total of 80 times. 

He only had one more strikeout than RBI, which just shows the terrific discipline he has and how much in control he is up at the plate.

The Cleveland Guardians began their postseason run with a 2-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, after a 2-run home run hit by Jose Ramirez. Naylor ended up going 1 for 3 with a base hit in the fourth inning.

Ramirez is the Guardians best player, and is arguably the best third baseman in all of the MLB. However, as we all know, in order to win those 13 games to be the last team standing, it takes everyone. While Ramirez will get all the praise, it is players like Naylor who are the unsung heroes of why this ball club is where it is.

And the postseason stats back it up too, as in October, he turns into an unstoppable wrecking force. As of game one, he has played only three games in the playoffs, with a total of 10 at bats in those games, and has gotten a hit six times in those 10 chances. Out of his six hits, four of them have been for extra bases. He has one home run, three RBI, and has scored three runs in the three games he has played.

A lot of people are expecting the Rays to make a solid run this postseason, meaning that they expect Cleveland to just take their beating from them and have their season end. But with Naylor, Ramirez, the terrific duo of ace Shane Bieber and young stud Triston McKenzie, as well as rookie sensation Steven Kwan, and led by one of the best managers in baseball Terry Francona, they have a very underrated squad.

It is important to note that it is not like the Guardians got a free bid into the playoffs because of a weak AL Central division, they did win 92 games this year, which is tied for third most in the AL this season. They are not some pushover that people may see them as, they are where they are because they earned it.

The AL better be very careful. If they keep overlooking them, Believeland can certainly make some noise, as they already have a 1-0 lead in their Wildcard matchup. And with Naylor’s smooth swing and electric energy he brings to the dugout, he will help lead the charge of the Guardians.

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