3:34pm: Naylor has agreed to a $2.25MM bonus, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports on Twitter.
8:43am: The Marlins are close to signing first-round pick Josh Naylor, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. The left-handed-hitting first baseman out of Ontario graduated from high school yesterday, meaning that he’s now officially able to sign a contract with Miami. While the slot value for Naylor’s No. 12 overall selection is $3,051,800, Frisaro hears that Naylor will sign for a bonus between $2MM and $2.5MM.
Naylor’s selection was the first big surprise of the 2015 draft. While some had expected the powerful teenager to go perhaps in the late first round, Miami’s selection of him was unexpected at the time. Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel rated Naylor as the 28th prospect in this year’s class, and he was more optimistic than many other rankings. Naylor placed 49th on Keith Law’s Top 100 at ESPN, 59th on the Top 200 of Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, and 61st on Baseball America’s Top 500.
Listed at 6’1″ and 225 pounds, Naylor’s calling card is his raw power, which receives grades of 65 on the 20-80 scouting scale from ESPN, MLB.com and Fangraphs in the linked reports, with BA labeling it plus-plus (70). ESPN feels that Naylor has a plus-plus arm that scouts would love to use in right field, but he lacks the foot speed to adequately cover the outfield. Naylor’s speed grades range from 20 to 35, which is enough for him to be labeled a first-base-only prospect. As such, he’ll likely have to tap into that huge raw power in order for him to become a regular player for the Marlins down the line.
According to Frisaro, Naylor will begin his pro career with the Marlins Gulf Coast League affiliate. An official announcement of the signing from the Marlins could come as soon as today, he adds.