Tyler Naquin - One of the Newest Mets Making An Impact Quickly (2022)
The six-foot two left-handed hitting outfielder was originally drafted out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles but did not sign. He chose to attend Texas A & M. There he lettered in baseball for three years, was a two time All State.
In his sophomore year he led the Big 12 with a .381 batting average leading the Aggies to the College World Series. In his junior year he batted .380 & was rated the best pure hitter by Baseball America. That year he was selected as a first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians, the 15th pick overall.
After an All-Star season at AA Akron in 2013, he broke his hand missing most of the 2014 season.
In 2015 he was promoted to AAA Columbus & although he missed another 50 games, he still had batted .300 with 7 HRs 27 RBIs in 84 games.
MLB Career: In 2016 he made the Cleveland Indians out of Spring Training due to an injury to Michael Branley & suspension to Abraham Almonte. Over time he became the main center fielder for the AL Champions. That June & again in July, he won the Rookie of the Month Award. Hitting 6 HRs with 15 RBIs each month.
On June 3rd, he hit his first career HR, then hit HRs in three straight games from there on. On June 18th, he homered & drove in four runs in a 13-2 blow out over the White Sox. On August 19th, he hit a walk off inside the park HR to beat the Toronto Blue Jays. He was the first Indian to do that since Braggo Roth did it in 1916. On July 20th he had a season high six RBI night, hitting two HRs with three hits in a 11-4 win at Kansas City. At the end of July, he was batting .338.
Overall, in 116 games, he hit .296 with 14 HRs 18 doubles 5 triples 43 RBIs & .372 on base %. He came in third in the Rookie of the Year Award.
2016 Post Season: In Game #2 of the ALDS he hit a two-run single in the top of the 4th inning off Clay Buchholtz at Fenway Park in a 4-3 win over the Red Sox. Cleveland won the series in a three-game sweep.
He went 2-12 in the ALCS win over Toronto, with both hits being doubles. In the World Series he was just 1-7 appearing in five games.
He spent five years in Cleveland, never matching his rookie season as injuries set him back & he became more of a reserve outfielder. In 2019 his strong arm, led him to leading all AL rightfield fielders with nine assists while turning two double plays. After batting just .218 in 2021 in 40 games he was granted free agency.Reds Career: In February 2021 he signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds. After a good Spring Training he made the Opening Day roster. On April 6th, he had a career high seven RBI game, where he hit two HRs & collected three hits in a 14-1 win over the Pirates.
In August, he won a Player of the Week Award batting .500 with 4 HRs 3 doubles & 5 RBIs. That month he also had a 17-game hit streak. Overall Naquin had a good year for the third place Reds, hitting 19 HRs with 24 doubles & 70 RBIs batting .270. In center field he had five assists (3rd most in the NL).
He began 2022 with the Reds batting .246 with 7 HRs 12 doubles & 33 RBIs in 56 games. He was sent to the New York Mets on July 28th along with Philip Diehl in exchange for minor leaguers Jose Acuna & Hector Rodriguez.Mets Career: The Mets acquired him for his strong arm, fine defense in the outfield, speed &
left-handed hitting in the DH spot. The move seemed minor at that time, as he was not one of the big names on the trading block, but right off the bat he made a huge impact.
Naquin debuted a s a Met on July 30th, playing left field in Carlos Carrasco & Seth Lugo's 4-0 shut out of the Marlins in Miami.
The next night, he tripled driving in his first Mets run in a 9-3 win in South Florida. He collected three hits in two games of the series in Washinton D.C.On August 4thh, he hit two HRs in his Mets debut at Citi Field, becoming the first Mets player to hit two HRs in his home field debut. The HRs came in a big five game series against the first place Mets & second place Atlanta Braves. Both HRs were solos shots off Kyle Wright in the Mets 6-4 win.
Quotes- Tyler Naquin: "It was awesome, heck even if I'd been playing here four years that's a good night".
In the second game of a Saturday double header, he had an 8th inning pinch hit RBI single to extend the Mets lead to 5-1 over the Braves. The Mets took four of five in that series to build up a 6.5 game lead in the NL East.
On August 8th, Naquin hit another triple, this one drove in two runs over his old Reds teammates giving the Mets a 5-1 lead. Two games later on August 10th, he hit his third Mets HR, his 10th of the year. It came off the Reds T.J. Zeuch into the Coca Cola Corner in a 10-2 matinee win at Citi Field.
In his first ten games as a Met he was 11-30 batting .367 with 3 HRs 2 doubles 2 triples 7 RBIs & 7 runs scored.