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MLB Draft 2015: Marlins' selection of Josh Naylor fills power gap

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Not many expected Naylor to be selected in the first round. But he might have been the best power bat available.

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Josh Naylor was not a consensus first round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft but for the Marlins he may have been the best available option. After selecting a power arm, Tyler Kolek, in the first round last year, the Marlins addressed a need by drafting Naylor with the 12th overall pick.

MLB.com's Joe Frisaro described the Marlins as "desperate for power" and the club has lacked power depth since the promotion of Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton was the most notable power threat that progressed through Miami's minor league system in recent seasons, and although Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Adeiny Hechavarria could occasionally provide some power, the club has lacked a power threat in the early stages of its minor league system.

Naylor does not turn 18 until the end of June and he may end up opting to head to Texas Tech in the fall. MLB.com named him the 59th best available prospect but he has been compared to Prince Fielder. In addition to a similar build, Naylor has a comparable swing and could emerge as just as much of a power option. There were not a notable number of power bats in this year's draft class and the Marlins may have selected the best available power bat.

Frisaro adds the Marlins missed on Jeremy Hermida, Matt Dominguez, Kyle Skipworth, and Colin Moran. Miami felt each would be a power threat however none of them are currently with the organization or have shown a notable amount of offensive power.

If Naylor emerges as a top to middle of the order bat, the selection will likely prove to be beneficial. Left-handed power is limited and the number of home runs hit is decreasing. Naylor fills a need for the Marlins at a time where offensive power depth is scarce.

Here is what some had to say about the Marlins' first round selection, via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

ESPN’s Peter Gammons: "Everybody that has seen him say he is a really good pure hitter. …

Baseball America’s Jim Callis:  "His No. 59 ranking might make him seem like a reach, but he had as much late helium as anyone before the Draft. He put on a show with Team Canada in a tour of the Dominican Republic, facing professional pitchers. He hit five home runs in 12 games."...

ESPN’s Eric Logenhagen: "He's a good athlete for his size and could be an above-average defender at first base, but rest assured, that's the only place he's going to play.

"Naylor would be a liability in the outfield. While Naylor has some of the best raw power in the draft, it comes with a great deal of effort, and at the expense of contact. I like Naylor, just not here."