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In his first major-league-at-bat Daniel Nava took a first pitch fastball from Joe Blanton and blasted it into the Red Sox’ bullpen for a grand slam. The Red Sox went on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in that game 10-2, in what seemed like a very promising game for Nava and his future with the team.
Nava became only the fourth player in major league history to hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat and he is the second person ever to do it on the first pitch (Kevin Kouzmanoff is only other player). Although Nava had been improving his performance in the field, the switch hitter was cut from the Red Sox roster on March 20th after going only 8 for 39 in Spring training camp with only one extra-base hit. His batting average was a minimal .205 and he had only three RBIs in 19 games. Lets take a look back at what he had accomplished last year:
After being moved up from the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox, Nava had 161 plate appearances last year and held a batting average of .242. The one grand slam he hit was his only home run for the year, but Nava did have 14 doubles, 26 total RBI and a sluggin percentage of .360. Nava showed signs that he was going to figure out how to play with the Green Monster at his back, and he was improving daily as the season went on.
Nava’s cinderella story isn’t over yet. The 5’10 athlete from Redwood City California is only 28 years old and has seen his dreams come true once already. He had worked his way up from being an equipment manager in college to starting basbeball games out in left field for the Boston Red Sox. His desire to continually improve and be the best he can be makes it reasonable to say that we may see Nava out there at Fenway again.