At this time of year, we're talking draft, college baseball, international signings, minor league prospects . . . just about everything but indy ball.
But at Baseball America, independent baseball is never far from J.J. Cooper's mind, and our managing editor has a pretty solid track record when it comes to indy ball guys getting to the big leagues. Suffice it to say that when an indy baller gets signed by a pro club, J.J. always feels a little tinge of pride, whether it's Justin Christian or Edwar Ramirez, or Mike Benacka, or Daniel Nava.
SoxProspects.com and WEEI.com are reporting Nava is getting called up to the majors. In 2007, Nava was the No. 1 prospect on J.J.'s 2007 indy ball top 10. Here's the full top 10 link and the report J.J. wrote back then:
1. DANIEL NAVA, OF
Nava has been proving doubters wrong for years. As a walk-on, he was cut during tryouts at Santa Clara in 2003, so he played two seasons in junior college and batted better than .400. Those gaudy statistics convinced Santa Clara to give him a chance, and he responded by leading the West Coast Conference in 2006 in batting (.395) and on-base percentage (.496) and making the all-conference team.
That still wasn’t enough to get Nava drafted, so he turned to the Chico Outlaws, who added him to the roster when two other players failed to show up. The 24-year-old led the league in batting (.371) and on-base percentage (.475) and was among the league leaders in most every offensive category. He ended up leading Chico to the league title and was named the league’s MVP.
The switch-hitting Nava showed an advanced mindset at the plate with a good two-strike approach. Although his lefthanded swing is a little smoother than his righthanded swing, he has power from both sides. He led the league in outfield assists while playing right field, though his manager Mark Parent said he could play center field.
“He can hit. He has a major league approach to hitting,” Parent said. “If you watch batting practice you might wonder what is he doing, but he takes batting practice like Eddie Murray.”
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