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Sports

June 15, 2013

Puig-a-mania running wild

(Continued)

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Not to be a naysayer, but I wouldn’t jump to add Daniel Nava to your roster.

He’s currently on a roll, hitting .327 with 2 HR and 11 RBI The last two weeks. He is quietly making a bid for an all-star nod, with a season stat line of .299, 9 HR and 44 RBI.

While Nava is certainly a feel-good story — and trust me I’m glad he’s a feel good story for the Red Sox — his career splits paint a picture that is murky for the second half.

For his career, Nava is a .290 hitter in the first half with an OBP of .387, .461 slugging percentage, 13 HR and 86 RBI in 549 plate appearances. Not bad. But he takes quite a dip in the second half — .186 batting average, .308 OBP, .282 slugging, 3 HR and 17 RBI. Granted, his playing time in the second half is almost half (209 plate appearances) what it is in the first half, but the underlying message is there: Nava does most of his damage before the league makes its adjustments.

I hope I’m wrong, and Nava certainly has been proving people wrong for his entire career. But I’m not buying prolonged production like he’s had thus far.

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The Mets will reportedly call up top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler on Tuesday to make a start against the Braves in Atlanta.

Wheeler, ranked in the preseason as the No. 11 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and No. 8 by MLB.com, doesn’t have a great ERA (4.14) in Triple-A this season. But he does have a 4-1 record and his strikeout per nine rate (9.4) is right in line with his career average in the minors (9.6).

He’s still a little wild (3.6 walks per nine innings pitched), so that could be an issue in the majors. But he does throw a mid-90s fastball and has what is considered to be a plus curve, so despite the growing pains he may be worth a roster spot (especially if you can take the hit to your WHIP).

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