Daniel Nava Back With A Vengeance

daniel navaIn his baseball career, Daniel Nava has gone through a lot to say the least. He did not make his college team at first, played in an independent league, hit a grand-slam in his first Major League pitch and won a World Series. On top of this he was sent down at the beginning of this season in favor of Grady Sizemore who had not played Major League Baseball effectively since George W. Bush was president. After owning a slash line of .149/.257/.290, Boston sent Nava down to AAA, called him back up again only to send him back down! After being at the lowest point in his career slashing .130/.221/.234, Nava turned his season around with a vengeance.
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Since returning from to the big leagues in June, Daniel Nava has been playing the best baseball of his career. Since June 4th, Daniel Nava is hitting a slash of .331/.399/.393 as of yesterday before the game. This is by far the best stretch of the switch-hitting outfielder’s career especially given how much he has struggled against lefties this year. Off southpaws this year he is hitting .143/.182/.167 in 42 at-bats which is down from .225/.298/.335 from 2011 to 2013 in 200 at-bats exactly.
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The Boston Red Sox outfield is crowded and going to be even more crowded once Allen Craig returns from the disabled list and Mookie Betts is called up. Keep in mind no members of the Red Sox outfield are free agents next year and Shane Victorino will be back as well. That leaves Boston with seven potential outfielders on their 2015 roster with Alex Hassan, Garin Cecchini, and Bryce Brentz just a phone call away. To put it this way, outfielders will make up at least 25% of the 40-man roster.
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As Nava is and always will be an on-base machine, he definitely deserves a starting role in the Boston Red Sox outfield next year. Despite Allen Craig putting up nearly identical numbers to Nava in 2013, Nava has the upper hand in terms of 2014 performance, on-base percentage, and experience both on the team and in the American League. Too much depth is never a bad thing, especially when a team has pieces to move for say Giancarlo Stanton. Whether or not that truly happens is up for debate, but at least Boston has Nava who is tearing it up and making this 2014 Boston Red Sox team worth watching.

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