Ivan Nova’s journey from amateur to prospect to big leaguer is a unique one, partly because he wasn’t a high-profile player who signed for a lot of money as a teenager. ESPN’s Jorge Arangure chronicled Nova’s journey, explaining how he transitioned from position player to pitcher with some help from his father, who woke him up for 5am workouts every day. He spent two weeks working out for the Red Sox at age 16, but says “I really didn’t want to sign with Boston … My father and I were both Yankee fans.”
Interestingly enough, the article explains that Nova is working on a new changeup grip with pitching coach Larry Rothschild because he shelved the pitch for much of last season and lost feel for it. He uses the new pitch sparingly (6.9% according to PitchFX) and both Nova and Rothschild say it’s a root cause of his homerun problem — PitchFX confirms that five of the ten homers he’s allowed this season have come off that new changeup. Arangure’s article is a great read and gets RAB’s highest level of recommendation. Make sure you check it out.