CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Seidnotes: The .300/.5... (06/11)
<< Previous Column
One-Hoppers: Carlos Sa... (06/11)
Next Column >>
One-Hoppers: Keelhaule... (06/13)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Ju... (06/14)

June 12, 2010


Daniel Nava: Cinderella Comes to Boston

by David Laurila

Daniel Nava is poised to become the unlikeliest player in the big leagues. The Red Sox are expected to call up the 27-year-old outfielder later today, and when they do, a great Cinderella story will have unfurled. Nava is hitting .294/.364/.492 for Triple-A Pawtucket, and .an eye-popping .342/.434/.545 in three-plus seasons of affiliated ball, but how he got here is what is truly remarkable.

“My story goes back to getting out of high school and walking on at Santa Clara,” explained Nava in a 2009 interview for Boston Baseball Magazine. “I ended up getting cut my freshman year, which was 2000-2001, and when that happened, I thought I was done playing ball. I wanted to stay in the game, so I became the team manager, doing things like washing laundry and all of the things that a clubby does in pro ball. After those two years, I couldn’t afford to go to [Santa Clara] anymore, so I left. Then I ended up running into a buddy who said that I should come to his junior college and try out for the team. I said, ‘Why not’ and ended up making the team and having two really good years. From there, I actually got a scholarship back to Santa Clara and played for one year, which is all of the eligibility I had left. I didn’t get drafted, so I tried to get another year of eligibility back, but that got denied, so I basically ended up taking a whole year off between my year at Santa Clara and indie ball. I was going to tryout camps, trying to get picked up, but nobody signed me until the Chico Outlaws called the day before [their season] started and said, ‘Hey, if you want to play independent-league ball, come up here right now.’ So I packed my stuff and drove up there, and the funny thing is that the only reason they called me is that one of their guys had decided to retire; another guy deciding to stop playing is what actually gave me the opportunity.”

Since being given that opportunity, Nava has been an offensive machine. A switch-hitter who stands an unimposing 5’10, 200 lbs., he hit .371 for the Outlaws and was subsequently inked to a free-agent contract by the Red Sox who assigned him to high-A Lancaster for the 2008 season. Nava promptly won the California League batting title with a .341 average, and rather than falling back to earth in 2009, he hit a combined .352 between high-A and Double-A. Now, a year later, and against all odds, he is about to become a big leaguer. Daniel Nava is baseball's 2010 version of Cinderella.

10 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links


Good story!

Jun 12, 2010 10:47 AM
rating: 0
Rusty Pecker

wow that's beyond incredible.

Jun 12, 2010 12:52 PM
rating: 0

And then add a first Major League pitch Grand Slam to the story and it's absolutely amazing.

Jun 12, 2010 14:04 PM
rating: 4
Drew Miller

What's more amazing, that he arrived at all or that he hit that first-pitch grand slam in his first plate appearance?

Jun 12, 2010 14:31 PM
rating: 0

Nava Nagila!

Jun 12, 2010 14:41 PM
rating: 0

Feliz Navadad?

Jun 12, 2010 16:11 PM
rating: 0

Stories like Nava are what make sports worth watching.

Jun 12, 2010 19:56 PM
rating: 1

Super Nava.

Article in the globe about his debut:


Jun 13, 2010 06:30 AM
rating: 0

I love this story, and the granny makes it even better. I also read that his parents scrambled to see his debut, leaving their luggage at Logan to make it in time. If it were Hollywood, we'd dismiss it as overly-sentimental, unbelievable nonsense. This is why we watch.

Jun 13, 2010 16:26 PM
rating: 2

Being a Yankee fan, I hate this guy.

Jun 13, 2010 19:40 PM
rating: 1
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Premium Article Seidnotes: The .300/.5... (06/11)
<< Previous Column
One-Hoppers: Carlos Sa... (06/11)
Next Column >>
One-Hoppers: Keelhaule... (06/13)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Ju... (06/14)

Fantasy Rounders: The Slump Buster
Premium Article What Scouts Are Saying: July 1, 2015
Premium Article Going Yard: Futures Game: USA Bats
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Tuesday, June ...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: July 1, 2015
Premium Article Notes from the Field: July 1, 2015
Premium Article The Call-Up: Miguel Sano

2010-06-16 - Minor Issues: Camaraderie and Kegs, with Bra...
2010-06-15 - Prospectus Q&A: Brian Fuentes
2010-06-14 - Minor Issues: The Kung Fu Panda Comes to Ame...
2010-06-12 - One-Hoppers: Daniel Nava: Cinderella Comes t...
2010-06-11 - Prospectus Q&A: Andrew McCutchen
2010-06-10 - BP Unfiltered: Five Minutes with Barry Zito
2010-06-09 - Minor Issues: Bonding and Ducks, with Brad Z...

2010-06-15 - One-Hoppers: Vladimetrics
2010-06-14 - One-Hoppers: Jonesing for Rejuvenation
2010-06-13 - One-Hoppers: Keelhauled
2010-06-12 - One-Hoppers: Daniel Nava: Cinderella Comes t...
2010-06-11 - One-Hoppers: Carlos Santana Heads for the Cl...
2010-06-09 - One-Hoppers: Night of the Pitcher? (and a La...
2010-06-09 - One-Hoppers: Wakefield's The Man In Boston

2011-03-23 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: AL Moves
2010-06-17 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: AL Quadrille