By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA-Lake Elsinore Storm first baseman Josh Naylor has been named California League Player of the Month for April.
The Mississauga, Ont., native, a top prospect in the San Diego Padres organization, led the California League in RBI (23), extra-base hits (11) and total bases (52), while finishing second with 30 hits during April. He also belted five home runs and had a .889 OPS.
The award is the second for a Canadian in as many weeks after London, Ont., native Jamie Romak picked up Player of the Month honours for the Pacific Coast League. At the time, Romak was also a member of the Padres organization but has since had his rights sold to SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
The month was not all positive for Naylor as he sustained facial fractures when a pickoff throw struck him in the face on April 29th. He was immediately placed on the 7-day disabled list.
Naylor spent four years with the Junior National Team program (2012-2015) and is the only Canadian to participate in three WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup events. He made his Senior National Team debut in March when he represented Canada at the World Baseball Classic.
In 2015, the Miami Marlins selected him with the 12th overall selection in the MLB Draft making him the highest drafted Canadian position player in history. He represented the Marlins and Canada in the 2016 Futures Game before being dealt to the Padres as part of a seven-player trade on July 29th.