The Red Sox' Daniel Nava had a hell of a season in 2013 but you may not have noticed. Nava didn't play every day, he didn’t blast a ton of homers, and he didn't steal a single base. 'But Ray, I thought you said that he had a hell of a season. How could he have if your second sentence is accurate?' Glad you asked (how weird is it when I quote people in a made up way? I've always been a bit of a free thinker so I'm gonna roll with it. It makes my point regardless, so it works). Let's delve in to Nava who must be a great guy considering that he was literally born about eight miles south of me (he has a great story you can read about too).
Nava hit .303 last season. That was the 8th best mark in the American League. Nava had a better mark than guys like Eric Hosmer (.302) and teammates Dustin Pedroia (.301) and Jacoby Ellsbury (.298). Were you aware of that?
Nava had a .385 OBP last season. That was the 5th best mark in the American League. Nava had a better mark than guys like Robinson Cano (.383), Adrian Beltre (.371) and Chris Davis (.370). Were you aware of that?
Nava had an .831 OPS last season. That was 16th the best mark in the American League. Nava had a better mark than guys like Prince Fielder (.819), Jason Kipnis (.818) and Adam Jones (.811). Were you aware of that?
You had no idea he was as successful as he was last season. He wasn't just good he excelled. You're going to have to pay close attention to what follows in this report because you need to learn more about a guy who was such a healthy performer last season.
On the surface it appears that one of the reasons that Nava had so much success was that the Red Sox used him properly. By that I mean that they limited his work against lefties. Here are the splits that the switch hitter posted.
vs. lefties: .252/.311/.336
vs. righties: .322/.411/.484
Two things. He was an all-star caliber performer against righties which is a good thing since the vast majority of starters are right-handed. Second, this is a trend that has taken place for the duration of his career. Here are the splits from his 282 game big league career.
vs. lefties: .223/.307/.328
vs. righties: .292/.390/.443