For the Angels, spring training has shown us there is still plenty to be concerned about heading into the 2016 season. However, there is also excitement in the mist of concern. We are watching Mike Trout hitting in mid-season form, Albert Pujols look to have made a full recovery from foot surgery, and Jered Weaver‘s determination to play in the opening series. If we are comparing Angels baseball players to the NCAA Tournament. We are focusing more on the 1-4 seed’s. However, i think it’s important to identify the Cinderella story that is possibly happening right before our very eyes.
So, which Angel is the 12th seed? Who is your Yale player, or even your Little Rock player? I think we are all in agreement that left-field Daniel Nava has show tremendous upside in this young spring training season. Nava, has a lot to prove. The five-year player hasn’t come along way since the magic of his grand-slam off Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton, becoming the fourth player to have hit a grand slam in his first at-bat. In fact he has taken more or less a fall from grace. In 2013 Nava went to bat 458 times, with that number decreasing drastically each year to 139 last season.
Fast forward to this season, Nava has played well for the Halos. the 33 year old has found the fountain of youth in spring training, with 23 at-bats, 13 home-runs, and 7 RBI’s, he’s batting a stellar .565 average. Thus, it would appear that the Angels have found their left-fielder. Nava, isn’t going to put up huge numbers during the regular season. He’ll likely produce enough to keep innings alive after Trout and Pujols bat. His play in left-field will help on the defensive end. The combo of Nava, Trout, and Kole Calhoun will likely keep the doubles and triples at bay for the Angels pitching rotation.
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One thing is clear, Nava and the Angels both need each other. The Angels need a left-fielder and Nava needs a fresh start on a team who will give him a chance at the plate. So far, this has been a great pick-up for the Angels. This Cinderella story between player and team has been a nice surprise for spring training this season. While many doubt that the dancing between Nava and the Angels will last long, you can’t help but cheer one as Nava continues to impress during spring training for the Angels.