6/15/1987 (29 y, 9 m, 10 d) Bats/Throws:
3B/SSContract: $4.2M / 1 Years (2017)
Nunez (shoulder) may serve as the Giants' designated hitter over the weekend and is unsure when he'll be ready to return to his post in the infield, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "I think we're good for Opening Day," Nunez added Thursday. (3/23/2017)Injury:
|Profile: If you get points for consistency, the 29 year old Nunez is winning - he managed to carbon copy his 2015 on-base plus slugging percentage (.758 OPS) and batting average on balls in play (.314 BABIP) in more than twice the plate appearances in 2016 (595), a rather impressive accomplishment for a player with a career walk percentage barely above 5%. Oddly enough, duplicating these stats came with a drastically different input, as Nunez broke out last year with 16 home runs and 40 stolen bases (previous highs of 5 home runs and 22 stolen bases both set in 2011 with the Yankees) in 141 games. Most of that damage came in a Twins uniform (.296/.325/.439) in the first half (he hit just .244/.297/.357 in the second half of the season), though don’t just assume his late July trade to the Giants will regress him too heavily in 2017 since he hit .307/.373/.493 at home in AT&T Park over 83 plate appearances. If you’re betting on Nunez as an important part of your 2017 roster, bet more on the speed than power, as his per game rate of stolen bases was identical in both the first and second half of the season while is power faded down the stretch (12 of 16 home runs in the first half). Even if the power does regress a little this season (his home run per fly ball rate has actually steadily increased for three straight seasons), Nunez looks like a solid buy at the shortstop position (will qualify at 3B in most leagues, too) because his strong contact rate (91%) and rising hard hit rate (28%) give him enough of a floor to hit that .758 OPS once again. (Trey Baughn)|
The Quick Opinion: There’s enough in Nunez’s profile to suggest a third consecutive season of above average shortstop production, so this does in fact look like real development growth. That said, his new park will naturally suppress some power, so draft Nunez more for his speed than his home run totals in 2017. He’ll have eligibility at both SS and 3B, and is a good bet to be productive off the bench or a starting middle infield option in deep leagues.