20 homers in first half of MLB season ties career high for Mississauga slugger


Published June 27, 2024 at 5:27 pm

Mississauga's Josh Naylor hits homer.
Cleveland Guardians slugger and Mississauga native Josh Naylor connects for his 20th homer of 2024 on Sunday. (Photo: Cleveland Guardians X)

Mississauga’s Josh Naylor has his power stroke in fine form so far this Major League Baseball season and he’s about to reach new heights because of it.

The slugging first baseman for the Cleveland Guardians hit his 20th home run of the season this past Sunday in a 6-5 win over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. The blast was part of a three-hit afternoon for Naylor, who turned 27 the day before, and tied his career high set over a full season in 2022.

That year, the 5-foot-11, 250-pound product of St. Joan of Arc Secondary School in Mississauga clubbed 20 homers to go with 79 RBIs in 449 at-bats. In 74 games so far this season, he has 20 long balls to go with 58 RBIs in just 274 at-bats while hitting an uncharacteristically low .241.

It’s not hard to imagine Naylor, a 2015 first-round pick of the Miami Marlins, setting a new career high in homers perhaps sometime before the all-star break in early July, if not much sooner.

In an injury-shortened 2023 season, the fixture in the Guardians’ lineup stroked 17 homers and drove in 97 runs (tied for eighth in the American League) in 452 at-bats. His .308 batting average would’ve placed him third in AL hitting if he had found enough at-bats to qualify.

Naylor and his younger brother Bo, 24, a catcher with the Guardians, have shown in their brief time together so far in the major leagues they have a penchant for dramatic moments.

Not only did the pair of sluggers hit home runs in the same inning in a game earlier this season to help the Guardians to victory, they did so on National Siblings Day (celebrated in both the U.S. and Canada) of all days.

And that wasn’t the first time the Naylors accomplished the feat. They pulled it off initially last season, on July 14 in Texas.

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