Daniel Nava, OF, Boston Red Sox
Bats: S Throws: L HT: 5-10 WT: 200 DOB: February 20, 1983
In 2006, Daniel Nava hit .395/.494/.530 with 15 steals in 15 attempts for Santa Clara, as a walk-on. But he was already 23 years old, so no one drafted him. In 2007 he played for Chico in the independent Golden League, where he hit .371/.475/.625 with 12 homers and 18 steals in 20 attempts. The Red Sox picked him up as a free agent in 2008, and he ended up winning the California League batting title. However, he was already 25 years old, and he played his home games at hitting-friendly Lancaster, so everyone dismissed this performance. Nava continued to bash the ball in 2009, this time in the Carolina and Eastern Leagues, with no diminution of production. Scouts remain suspicious about his lack of size and his age, but at some point production has to matter, and Nava produces. He's got excellent plate discipline, and no holes in the statistics other than age-relative-to-league. He deserves a clear shot in Triple-A, and if he hits there he could end up filling a role on someone's bench. Grade C, but a great story.
He was at .294/.364/.492 for Pawtucket before being promoted to Boston. At age 27 he is too old to be a classic prospect, but he's definitely earned his shot, he's in the 'sweet spot' on the calendar for a career year, and I root for guys like this.