Naylor to play winter ball in Dominican Republic

Ontario Blue Jays alum Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) will be playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Photo: Associated Press

Ontario Blue Jays alum Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) will be playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Photo: Associated Press

*This article was originally published on the East Village Times website on October 9, 2019. You can read the original article here.

By Francisco Velasco

East Village Times

Josh Naylor of the San Diego Padres will play this winter with the Leones del Escogido in the LIDOM.

The MLB playoffs are in full swing, and the winter leagues across Latin America and beyond are starting up soon. The Dominican Winter League will start up this Saturday, Oct. 12, as several members of the San Diego Padres organization will participate in the LIDOM.

Among the more notable Padres’ players that will be playing in the Dominican Republic this winter is Josh Naylor. It was announced this past Tuesday, Oct. 8, that the Canadian outfielder will be playing for Leones del Escogido of the LIDOM.

This came as a bit of a surprise as it is rare to see position players that are not Latino participate in the winter leagues. Naylor batted .249/.315/.403 with eight home runs and 32 RBI’s in 94 at-bats in the MLB this season. The 22-year-old also played at triple-A El Paso and batted .314/.389/.547 with ten home runs and 42 RBI’s in the PCL.

Naylor is still looking for a consistent starting job in the very competitive San Diego outfield that includes Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, Nick Martini, Manuel Margot, and Travis Jankowski. The 22-year-old can also play first base, but realistically has no chance at the starting job with Eric Hosmer in the mix.

Naylor could also serve as a trade chip shortly as the Padres do have a very crowded outfield, and his defence is not the best. This will be a great experience for the Canadian player as Escogido is the third-most successful team in the LIDOM and consistently has pressure to be competitive. Luis Rojas has been managing Los Escarlatas since 2015, while former major leaguer Moises Alou is the general manager of the team.

Naylor will be playing alongside the likes of Ruben Tejada, Josh Leuke, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx. The Padres and Escogido do have a significant history with one another as players like Franmil Reyes and Franchy Cordero have played with Los Melunudos.

Players like Andres Munoz, Gerardo Reyes, Esteban Quiroz, and Christian Villanueva have proved to benefit from playing in the offseason previously. The LIDOM can prove to be very competitive, and hopefully, Naylor can get the best of his experience in the Dominican Republic.