There were a few candidates for standout player of the week. However, it ultimately came down to one player who went viral early on in the week, and that player would be Josh Naylor.
He only played a handful of games due to Major League Baseball’s health protocols, but Naylor was easily the Guardians’ standout player of the week. What he did at the plate in the two games against the Chicago White Sox was a week's worth of production. He had five hits, nine RBI, and three home runs in those two games.
Josh Naylor’s late-game heroics made him the first player in MLB history with eight RBI in the eighth inning and on. This included the ninth inning grand slam that tied the game and the extra inning three-run home run that allowed the Guardians to take the lead that would end up helping them win.
Naylor was full of emotion, and his reaction to his second home run was caught by a fan in the stands. Watching Naylor play at such a high level has been inspiring to see knowing what he has been through with his injury and comeback story.
One part about the grand slam that makes it even more impressive is that it came off closer, Liam Hendriks, who is regarded as one of the best closers in all of baseball.
Then in the second game of this unplanned two-game set, Naylor hit an opposite field solo home run in the seventh inning to give the Guardians' offense a spark.
After watching the offense over the weekend against the Minnesota Twins, Naylor deserves standout player of the week even more. Without Naylor in the lineup, the offense had trouble clicking and only scored a total of 12 runs in the three-game series. They ended up going 1-2 in those three games.
Hopefully, Naylor has been feeling well and recovering. His health is the most important thing. Once he is ready to return, there is no doubt he can keep contributing to this team on the field and as a leader in the clubhouse, making him a contender for the standout player every week.
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