Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Could the Red Sox Daniel Nava be an All-Star this year?

Two under-the-radar stats from Daniel Nava's 2013 season: He batted .303, and his on-base percentage was .385; solid numbers, but they don't exactly jump off the table.  Until you consider the fact that his average was 8th best in the American League, and his OBP was 5th.  Miguel Cabrera (.442), Mike Trout (.432), Joe Mauer (.404), and David Ortiz (.395) were the only AL players to reach base at a better clip than Nava.  That is some pretty impressive company.

However, Nava only managed 458 at-bats over 134 games in the crowded Red Sox outfield.  If Nava A) plays everyday (which seems more likely after Jacoby Ellsbury's defection to New York), and B) produces at the same level as last year (although he was just a .243 hitter in his previous two MLB seasons), there's no reason to think he can't be an All-Star.

I'll be the first to admit those are some pretty big "ifs."  Nava's 2013 stats could easily be a fluke, and with Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all around he might well still be a part-time player.  But I've recently started writing for Bleacher Report, and my first assignment was "Boston Red Sox: 5 Bold Predictions for the 2014 Season."  Nava the All-Star is one, click the link to see the other four.

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