Daniel Nava

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Daniel Nava
Daniel Nava on July 15, 2010.jpg
Nava with the Red Sox in 2010
Boston Red Sox – No. 29
Outfielder / First baseman
Born: (1983-02-22) February 22, 1983 (age 31)
Redwood City, California
Bats: Switch Throws: Left
MLB debut
June 12, 2010 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
(through July 13, 2014)
Batting average .269
Home runs 21
Runs batted in 135
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Daniel James Nava (born February 22, 1983) is an American professional baseball outfielder and first baseman with the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Nava is only the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat and the second to do it on the first pitch.

High school and college baseball career[edit]

Nava was born in Redwood City, California. He played baseball at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California[1] and received his Psychology degree from Santa Clara University. He was 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m) and 70 pounds (32 kg) in his freshman year in high school and grew to 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) and 150 pounds (68 kg) by his senior year.[2]

After an opportunity to walk-on to the Santa Clara University baseball team, he failed to make the team as a player and became the team equipment manager.[3]

He left Santa Clara after two years because he could no longer afford the tuition.[3] He then enrolled in the College of San Mateo (junior college).[4] He tried out for the baseball team on the encouragement of an old friend he happened to run into at a gym.[3] While at the College of San Mateo, he became a Junior College All-American. Later Santa Clara wanted him back[5] and eventually offered him a full scholarship.[6] He hit .395 with an on-base percentage of .494 in his lone season with the Broncos, both tops in the West Coast Conference, and earned first-team All-WCC honors. He stole 15 bases without being caught, and he had more walks (31) than strikeouts (29).[3]

Professional Career[edit]

Minor Leagues[edit]

When Daniel Nava graduated from college, he went undrafted and signed with the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League. The Outlaws cut him after a tryout, only to bring him back a year later to fill a void.[3] In 2007 Nava hit 12 home runs for the Outlaws, with a .371 batting average and a 1.100 OPS.[7] Nava was named the number one independent league prospect by Baseball America in 2007.[7] Red Sox's assistant director of pro scouting, Jared Porter, recommended the Sox sign Nava from the Chico Outlaws in 2007.[8] The Red Sox paid the Outlaws $1 for the rights to Nava, with an agreement that the Outlaws would receive an additional $1,499 if the Red Sox kept Nava after spring training.[9]

In 2008, he played for low Single-A Lancaster. He hit .341 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI in 85 games. His on-base plus slugging percentage was .948.[10] In 2009, he hit .339 at high Single-A Salem before being called up to Double-A Portland where he batted .364 with four home runs and an exceptional 25-to-12 walk-to-strikeout ratio. His OPS was .991.[11]

In 2010, Daniel Nava spent two months in AAA.[12] At that time he was quoted as saying "I know I have the talent and the ability, and I can keep playing at the next level," he said. "If I didn't think I could, I would have been like, ‘You know what? There’s no point.’ … I definitely thought I could perform and perform well. That’s why I kept on going. Quitting’s just not much of an option for me."[3]

Boston Red Sox (2010-present)[edit]

Nava made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox on June 12, 2010 at Fenway Park as the starting left fielder against the Philadelphia Phillies. He was called up to help with the team's outfield situation, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida on the disabled list and Josh Reddick optioned to the minor leagues for more playing time.

Taking the advice of Red Sox radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione, who before the game told him to swing as hard as he could on the first pitch because "that's the only first pitch in the majors you'll ever see," Nava did swing at the first pitch he saw and hit a grand slam off Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton into the Red Sox bullpen. Nava is only the fourth player to have hit a grand slam in his first at-bat, joining Bill Duggleby in 1898, Jeremy Hermida in 2005 and Kevin Kouzmanoff in 2006. Nava is only the second player, after Kouzmanoff, to do so on the first pitch of his Major League career,[13] and the first player in Major League Baseball history to achieve a grand slam on his first-ever MLB career at-bat while in interleague play. His second at-bat, an inning later, was also with the bases loaded, but he struck out, losing the opportunity to become the only player to hit a grand slam in his first two at bats. He is the tenth player in Red Sox history to hit a home run in his first plate appearance with the club, the last being Darnell McDonald on April 20, 2010 against the Texas Rangers.[4] Creighton Gubanich is the only other player in Red Sox history to hit a grand slam for his first big league hit; however, it was not in Gubanich's first Major League at-bat. Bill LeFebvre is the only other player in Red Sox history to hit a home run on the first pitch thrown to him in the big leagues, doing so June 10, 1938. Due to his outstanding debut, Nava continued to start for the Red Sox. On June 17, he had his first three-hit game, two of those hits being doubles, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nava managed to reach base safely in his first 13 MLB games.

Nava was sent back to Triple-A's Pawtucket on July 22, 2010 to make room for Jeremy Hermida, who came off the DL.[14] He was recalled to Boston on August 2, 2010 to replace Mike Cameron, who was placed on the DL,[15] then optioned two days later to make room for Jacoby Ellsbury. On August 17, 2010 he was once again recalled back to the team after Ellsbury re-injured his ribs.

He was designated for assignment and removed from the Red Sox 40-man roster on May 20, 2011.[16] He passed through waivers unclaimed and was out-righted back to the Pawtucket Red Sox.[17] Nava was not invited to major league training camp in 2012, but he was called back to the major league in May of that year, due to the absences of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford. [18] As of May 13th, 2012, Nava's debut grand slam was the only major league home run to his credit despite 188 at bats, until May 14, 2012, when he hit a 2 run home run for the Red Sox at Fenway Park against the Seattle Mariners.[18] He hit a three-run home run which proved to be the winning margin on April 20, 2013, the first Red Sox home game after the Boston Marathon bombings earlier that week.[19] On July 29, 2013, Nava fell victim to a controversial call at home plate in which he was ruled out by umpire Jerry Meals, who later admitted that the call was incorrect. [20]

Nava platooned with Jonny Gomes in left field throughout the Red Sox's championship season of 2013, posting career highs in games played and all offensive categories. He placed eighth in the American League in batting average (.303) and fifth (.385) in on-base percentage.[21]

Awards[edit]

  • 2007 Independent Leagues Top Prospect (Baseball America)
  • Red Sox ML Player of the Month (Aug/Sep 2009)

Personal life[edit]

His father, Don, is a fitness instructor and a coach.[22]

For three years, he left a ticket at every minor league home game for ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews.[23][24]

He got married in the early offseason of 2012. He and his wife, Rachel, welcomed a baby girl named Faith on August 5th 2013.

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Daniel Nava Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ rfldumughn@yahoo.co.uk (2010-04-03). "Heard It From Hoard: The "Tall Tale" of Daniel Nava". Danhoard.mlblogs.com. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f By Brian MacPhersonJournal Sports Writer (2010-04-13). "Daniel Nava: From equipment manager to major-league prospect | | projo.com | The Providence Journal | Pawtucket Red Sox". projo.com. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  4. ^ a b By Ian Browne / MLB.com. "After long journey, Nava takes historic swing | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  5. ^ http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2010/6/12/1515223/daniel-nava-just-hit-a-grand-slam%7Ctitle=Daniel Nava Just Hit A Grand Slam On The First Pitch Of His Big League Career
  6. ^ http://www.riekes.org/riekesreport/winter08riekesreport.pdf
  7. ^ a b Andrews, Mike. "Meet Daniel Nava, the best Red Sox minor leaguer you've never heard of - Boston Red Sox Blog - ESPN Boston". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  8. ^ "Blogs: Clubhouse Insider» Blog Archive » Stop — Nava time!". BostonHerald.com. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  9. ^ "Full Count » The Sox’ $1 investment in Nava pays off". Fullcount.weei.com. 1960-05-10. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  10. ^ "Full Count » Nava completes long journey to majors". Fullcount.weei.com. 1960-05-10. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  11. ^ Lee, Tony. "Daniel Nava's Long and Winding Road Leads Him to Shadows of Fenway Park's Green Monster - Boston Red Sox". NESN.com. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  12. ^ Sullivan, Jeff. "Daniel Nava Just Hit A Grand Slam On The First Pitch Of His Big League Career". Lookout Landing. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  13. ^ "Boston rookie Nava hits grand slam on first pitch faced". ESPN. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  14. ^ McDonald.Nava's magical run done for now. ESPNBoston.com. Accessed July 31, 2010
  15. ^ Abraham, Peter (2010-08-02). "Cameron returns to disabled list". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  16. ^ Red Sox Designate Daniel Nava For Assignment, MLBTradeRumors.com, May 20, 2011.
  17. ^ After bumpy start, Nava lands back with PawSox Providence Journal, May 27, 2011
  18. ^ a b Chimelis, Ron. "Daniel Nava plans to make the most of his time with the Red Sox". masslive.com. MassLive LLC. Retrieved May, 12. 
  19. ^ Red Sox honor Boston Marathon bombing victims, rally past Royals, ESPN.com, April 20, 2013.
  20. ^ Jerry Meals Admits to Blowing Call at Home Plate, Says Daniel Nava Should Have Been Safe | Boston Red Sox | NESN.com
  21. ^ 2013 American League Batting Leaders - Baseball-Reference.com
  22. ^ Andrews, Mike. "Meet Daniel Nava, the best Red Sox minor leaguer you've never heard of - Boston Red Sox Blog - ESPN Boston". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2010-06-13. 
  23. ^ "Red Sox Minor Leaguer Waits For Erin Andrews To Accept His Ticket, And (Sigh) His Heart". Sporting News. May 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  24. ^ » PawSox Player Leaves Tickets for Erin Andrews For 3 Straight Years Barstool Sports: Boston

External links[edit]