May 23, 2012

Bronco Baseball at the Next Level: Daniel Nava '06 Thriving for Red Sox After Call-Up

By, Vince Menon '14

Daniel Nava '06 photo to the right, the year he won the WCC Batting Title (2006).

Outfielder Daniel Nava '06 is off to a torrid start for the Boston Red Sox after being summoned from Triple-A Pawtucket. Since his May 10 call-up, the Redwood City native has been a fixture in the starting lineup, and is batting a whopping .350 with 9 R, 11 RBI and two homeruns in 14 games. He also has four doubles, 10 BB, a .491 on-base percentage, a .600 slugging percentage and an on-base plus slugging (OPS) of 1.091. With seven outfielders currently on the disabled list, Nava has provided much needed stability and production in his first MLB action since 2010.

In Boston's 6-5 win over Baltimore Wednesday, Nava's clutch sixth inning solo homer tied the game and was key in helping Boston climb back to .500 at 22-22. Nava also blasted his first homerun of the season in the Red Sox 6-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on May 14. The 395-foot, opposite-field shot was Nava's first since June 12, 2010 when he connected for his first big-league homerun, one that most Santa Clara baseball fans will recall fondly. On that day, Nava hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues, making him just the second player in major league history to accomplish the feat. Kevin Kouzmanoff was the other, doing it with Cleveland in 2006.

After spending his freshman year as the Broncos' equipment manager and transferring to the College of San Mateo due to financial reasons, Nava returned to the Mission Campus and experienced a breakout senior campaign in 2006. Nava led the West Coast Conference in batting at .395 and on-base percentage (.495) en route to All-WCC First Team honors.  Despite the tremendous season, Nava went undrafted and began playing baseball in the Independent league. After being named Baseball America's No. 1 independent prospect in 2007, his contract was purchased by the Red Sox and he was signed to a minor league contract.

Broncos Around the Minors

A handful of former Broncos are continuing their ascent to the big leagues by developing in the minor leagues as well. Over the past few years, many of Santa Clara's top players have been moving through the ranks in hopes of becoming the latest Broncos to reach "The Show".

Matt Long: Salt Lake Bees - Triple-A (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)

Kris Watts: Indianapolis Indians – Triple-A (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Matt Wickswat: Birmingham Barons – Double-A (Chicago White Sox)

Nate Garcia: Bowling Green Hot Rods - Class A Midwest League (Tampa Bay Rays)

Geoff Klein: Palm Beach Cardinals - Class A Advanced Florida State League (St. Louis Cardinals)

J.R. Graham: Lynchburg Hillcats Class A Advanced Carolina League (Atlanta Braves)

Tommy Medica: Fort Wayne TinCaps - Class A Midwest League (San Diego Padres)

Patrick Terry: Florence Freedom- North American Baseball American League (Independent)

Cory Hall: Burlington Royals – Appalachian League (Kansas City Royals)

Santa Clara Athletics is working to keep as up-to-date as possible -- please contact Joey Karp at jkarp@scu.edu for omissions or corrections.