Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 Bill James Projections - Daniel Nava

2012: 88 games, .243 BA, .352 OBP, .390 SLG, 6 HR, 33 RBI
2013 projection: 87 games, .266 BA, .367 OBP, .414 SLG, 6 HR, 35 RBI

After Daniel Nava's spectacular entrance into the bigs in 2010 (where he hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw), he settled into being the kind of player we all anticipated: a serviceable and affable fourth or fifth outfielder.

Nava is currently second on the Red Sox depth chart in left field, just under Jonny Gomes, and he's played both left and right field in his time in Boston. He's about average with the bat and on defense, but certainly passable for a backup - and I've never heard a negative word about him, attitude-wise.

I have a somewhat personal attachment to Nava, as I was at his very first major league game. It was an interleague contest against the Phillies, and I had cheap bleacher seats. It was raining hard enough that my friend and I discussed moving to better seats that had been abandoned by fans looking to stay dry, when Nava came to bat with the bases loaded, and promptly deposited the very first pitch just about a dozen rows below us.

We had previously been surrounded by Phillies fans who were, to put it lightly, intoxicated and boisterous, and the grand slam from Nava shut them right up.  My friend and I were soaked to the skin, and had a long drive back to New Hampshire ahead of us, so we bought some dry (and overpriced) clothing from the Red Sox Team Store, as a permanent souvenir of a great game.

I'm always happy to see Nava on the roster (even when it means that a better player couldn't be had). He came up for the first time when the Red Sox were still considered an elite team, and I'm hoping that they get back to that place while he's still hanging around.

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