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2018 MLB Draft: Cleveland Indians select Noah Naylor with 29th overall pick

The Indians get the slugging catcher with their first selection.

MLB: All Star Game-Home Run Derby Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With the 29th pick in the draft, the Cleveland Indians have selected catcher Noah Naylor from St. Joan of Arc High School in Maple, Ontario. In mock drafts, Naylor was projected to go 16th by ESPN and 23rd by Baseball America.

There are certainly plenty of question marks surrounding Naylor — as there are with pretty much any high-school draftee — but it’s very possible to argue that he has the highest ceiling of any catcher in this draft. The brother of former Marlins first-rounder and current Padres prospect Josh Naylor is the rare left-handed hitting catcher, and he’s got absolutely ridiculous power potential.

At the very worst, Naylor will be a guy who can throw out runners with ease with his cannon of an arm. If he can further develop his framing, game-calling, and blocking skills, he could be a great defensive catcher, but obviously if that development doesn’t occur there’s the possibility that he’ll have to move to another position. That move certainly would diminish his value a bit, though his power appears to be impactful enough to play at any position.

Because of the progress that he still needs to make as a defender, Naylor currently projects as a guy who will need at least four full minor-league seasons. But that prolonged development period will all be worth it if he turns into one of the league’s elite power-hitting catchers at some point.