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Daniel Nava may not be the flashy guy on the Boston Red Sox, like David Ortiz, but he does put up the numbers of someone who could be a member of the All-Star team for the American League.
With a .274 average, 10 homers and 45 RBI, Nava is doing well in most offensive categories. He has a .372 OBP and is behind only Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz for the team lead. As a switch-hitter, Nava ranks third after Carlos Santana and Jed Lowrie in OBP, as of June 24.
Nava also has had improved defensively in the outfield. He has a strong arm and great range and anticipation out in left and right. He has made some diving plays, including one game-saving catch earlier in the season to end a game and seal the win for the Red Sox.
The 30-year-old has been a role player most of his career with the Red Sox and has continued to show his versatility in 2013. He has played some first base and made his name known with some clutch hits.
The first game for the Red Sox at Fenway Park, back on April 8th, Nava came up with two runners on in the seventh and broke a scoreless tie game with a three-run shot to give the Red Sox the 3-0 lead. The Red Sox won 3-1 and Nava has never looked back.
Nava has had multiple homers to give the Red Sox the lead late and that type of clutch ability will help Jim Leyland in the late innings of the All-Star game at Citi Field.
Ever since Nava came up in 2010 and hit that grand slam his first at-bat in the majors, he has showed some lack of patience at the plate and lack of strength. In the minors, he worked on his defense and pitch selection and that is what has helped improve his intangibles to become a must-start for the Red Sox in 2013.
He may be 30, but he plays like a young kid right out of college and that hustle makes him even more important as a bench player for the AL All-Star squad in 2013.