The IBI’s John Alfes talked to Sean Travers, the Director of Player Development for the Ontario Blue Jays, about the Indians’ first-round pick (29th overall selection), C/3B Bo Naylor. The Blue Jays represent one of Canada’s premier amateur baseball programs, and provides high school players with the opportunity to showcase their talents throughout the summer.

John Alfes: Tell me about Bo and your experience with him.

Sean Travers: I’ve had Bo since he was eight years old. He’s always been special. Even at eight, he was a three-hole hitter on the team and everyone was three years older. At that age, at eight years old, that’s a huge age difference. He’s always been super confident. He’s always been a great worker, always been focused on what he was trying to do.

JA: When you watch him on the baseball field, what stands out the most about BO?

ST: The easy thing is the hitting, right? The most impressive part is the hit tool. To me, what impressed me most is just his mindset, his plan. If you watch him, he may be a little bit quiet and reserved, but he’s always had incredible confidence and just goes about his business really professionally. Sometimes when players are quiet, people question their competitiveness, but he’s one of the best competitors I’ve ever met.

JA: Bo’s older brother Josh plays in the Padres Minor League system. How much do you think that helped his development as a high school prospect?

ST: They’re just so different. They’re close as brothers can be, but they’re also different. They go about their business very differently. I think it was cool when Josh got drafted. I think he always looked at what Josh did and made comparisons.

JA: Defensively, the scouting reports have him as a catcher with experience at third base as well. What was he able to provide for your team on the defensive side of the ball, and what do you think he could provide for the Indians?

ST: I have a relationship with a Minor League instructor with the Indians. When the Indians took Bo, I immediately talked to him and said, ‘I believe Bo wants to catch.’ He’s an OK third baseman, but for me, he’s a special middle infielder. If he concentrated on that, he would be even better. If he’s going to play another position, hopefully it’s in the middle, probably second base. He’s athletic, he can run, he’s quick, got great hands. Unfortunately, he didn’t play a lot of middle infield because a lot of times when he didn’t catch he played third. For us, he always played shortstop and quite frankly he’s a really, really good middle infielder.

JA: What did Bo bring to your program off the field? What can you say about his character and what he can do away from the baseball field and how can that positively impact a team?

ST: He’s quiet. He’s not on social media, all that kind of stuff. He’s always professional. He never missed practice, even when he was drafted. He was worried about the team first. I kind of pulled him aside, I said, ‘Look, you’ve been great for the organization for the last five or six years, but this is about you.’ Wherever you put him in the lineup, that’s where he played. He’s an easy player to coach.”

JA: Is there anything else you would like to include about Noah or your program?

ST: I think the Indians got a steal. I think Bo probably should have went higher than he went. He talked to the Indians and I think everybody’s excited because he’s going to a great organization and a winning culture. For me sometimes, the choice is less important than where you get drafted. I think he landed in a great spot. Great Minor League instructors, John McDonald and the rest of them do an unbelievable job. I think he’s excited to get on with his career. It’s good he’s in Arizona, his brother trains in Arizona. Just stay out there together. I think the Indians are going to be very surprised about his athleticism number one, and I think when it is all said and done, I think they will be very surprised at the power. The power is very similar to his brother, even though the body type is not the same. His power is really good. In the next three or four years, it’s really going to start to show.”

  • John Alfes

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

(Photo: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports)

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