Sunday, February 28, 2016

Underrated Player of the Year: 2013

In this series, I look at one player per year from 1991-the present who came out of nowhere or had a great year that no one really noticed or expected.
Hey, I haven't done one of these in a long while.  Daniel Nava was always one of my favorite under-the-radar players, ever since making a huge splash by hitting a grand slam on the very first pitch he saw as a Major Leaguer.  He has such an interesting story, due to his size he was never really a highly sought-after player in high school, he walked on to his college team, then played in an independent league until Boston took notice and signed him for very little money.  He was always underestimated, yet he eventually proved that hard work pays off by making it to the Major Leagues.

In 2013, Nava had a terrific season, hitting .303/.385/.445 as a regular in the outfield and at first base.  His defense was very strong and he also contributed 12 home runs and 66 RBIs.  It was quietly a terrific season.  

Nava was never really a star on the team, and even had some trouble getting playing time over the likes of Jonny Gomes, who showed a flair for clutch hits, but when he was in the lineup, he produced.  He was an inspirational player who proved you did not have to be the most athletic person as long as you have a strong work ethic.  Daniel Nava will always be one of my favorite players for his brief time in Boston, and in particular for his contributions to the 2013 World Champion Red Sox.

1 comment:

  1. I always appreciated what Nava came to the game with. Big part of the 2013 team