25 in 25: Daniel Nava
Oct 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava drives in a run with a fielder
Player Profile: The Red Sox plucked Daniel Nava from the ranks of the Golden Baseball League for $1 at the end of 2007. The switch hitter stuck with Boston, toiling in the minors for two seasons, before making his début in mid-2010. After being designated for assignment at the start of 2011, Nava spent the remainder of that year in Triple-A and it was only thanks to injuries to both Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury that Nava found himself back in a Boston uniform in May of 2012. Nava’s platoon splits indicate that he performs better from the left side of the plate, though in a larger sample size. Thanks to work this season, Nava is now capable of manning first base in addition to both corner outfield spot, though he may be better suited for left field at Fenway.
2013 in Review: Nava spent his age 30 season platooning with Jonny Gomes in left field, while also occasionally spelling Shane Victorino in right or Mike Napoli at first. Nava posted career highs in games played and all offensive categories in 2013, including a top 10 finish in the American League in batting average and a top five finish in on-base percentage. Nava also slugged a crucial three-run home run in the Red Sox first home game after the Marathon bombings which ended up giving Boston the win.
2014 Outlook: It’s going to be more of the same in 2014, as most of the Championship team will return to Bean Town. Nava may see more time in right field, as Victorino may be called upon to help replace Ellsbury in center field. On the other hand, Nava could find himself on the outs, should Boston decide it needs to trade for some depth at another position. With bunches of Major league depth at the corner outfield spots, Boston also has a handful of outfield prospects who could be called upon should the need arise. So, Boston could choose to flip Daniel Nava for some depth somewhere else on the diamond, selling high on the soon to be 31-year-old’s career season in 2013.