Three non-roster invitees to watch in Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 07: Pinch hitter Daniel Nava
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 07: Pinch hitter Daniel Nava /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 25: Daniel Nava
KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 25: Daniel Nava /

Outfielder Daniel Nava

Last week, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract. This contract includes an invite to Spring Training. Barring injuries or abysmal performance this spring, it would be a shock if Nava did not make the Opening Day roster.

While Daniel Nava is best served as a fourth outfielder, if the Pirates do not add another outfielder between now and March 29 then it is possible that Nava could find himself earning a starting role in the Pirate outfield when the season begins.

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In his career Daniel Nava owns a 9.7 percent walk rate, .357 on-base percentage, a .329 wOBA, 104 wRC+, and a fWAR of 5.7 in 589 games played over seven seasons. When healthy, Nava has been a slightly above league average hitter and a plus defender in his career.

However, due to injuries, Nava has only twice appeared in more than 100 games. These two seasons were 2013 and 2014 with the Boston Red Sox.

In 80 games with the Philadelphia Phillies last season, Daniel Nava owned a .393 on-base percentage, .357 wOBA, and a 119 wRC+ in 214 plate appearances. His on-base percentage and 12.1 percent walk rate were both new career highs. Mix in his usual strong defense and Nava posted a 1.1 fWAR for the Phillies in 2017.

As was said above, barring some sort of Spring Training disaster 34-year-old veteran outfielder Daniel Nava will make the Pirates’ Opening Day roster. To boot, it is possible he begins the season as the team’s starting left fielder. This makes him a non-roster invitee to watch during Spring Training.