Daniel Nava turning a corner at the plate


Jun 8, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Daniel Nava (29) hits a single in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers t Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Nava is over the Mendoza line!

That would have been an incredibly confusing comment one year ago as Nava was establishing himself as one of the better outfielders in the league in the midst of a .303/.385/.445 season. Then again, much of Nava’s 2014 would have been confusing a year ago.

Nava’s 2013 cemented him not just as one of the better bats on the team, but also as a fan favorite. An undrafted free agent whom the Red Sox acquired from an Independent League team for just $1, nothing was ever really expected from Nava. And that’s why it was so special that he was having such a great 2013 season for such a great 2013 team.

But when the calendar flipped to 2014, Nava’s performance also flipped in the opposite direction. He got off to such a terrible start in April (.149/.240/.269) that he was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket when Shane Victorino returned from the disabled list, where he spent most of the month of May. However, he’s now back in Boston with yet another injury to Victorino, and judging by his performance, it’s not likely he’ll be going back to Pawtucket anytime soon.

Nava is having an great month of June, slashing .423/.483/.500, and doing enough to finally put himself over the afore-mentioned Mendoza Line. Nava’s overall season still looks miserable, as he is hitting just .204/.287/.301, but he’s taking steps to bring that up and closer to his career levels. He probably won’t return to the heights of his 2013 season given his slow start, but it’s possible that he could bring his slash line up to his career mark of .267/.361/.401. If he were to do that, however, he’ll need to prove this hot streak isn’t a fluke and to do that, he’ll just need to sustain it. Let’s see what you’ve got, Daniel!