Prospect #34: Third Baseman, Malcom Nunez
Signed as an International Free Agent Somehow for $300,000 in 2018
****THIS IS THE QUICK WRITE UP THAT I DID FOR MR. NUNEZ WHILE RANKING THE THIRD BASEMEN IN THE CARDINALS ORGANIZATION. YOU CAN FIND THAT POST HERE. COME BACK IN FEBRUARY FOR A MORE IN DEPTH WRITE UP ON MALCOM WHEN I START THE RE-RANKING PROCESS. SPOILER ALERT: HE'LL BE HIGHER THAN 34th AT THAT POINT.****
OK, I'm going to keep this short. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Yes, Nunez has the ability (and the hype around him) to be the kind of prospect to get jolly over. BUT, remember, this is a 17 year old that hasn't made it stateside yet. We should always be reluctant to over-hype kids that haven't made it stateside yet.
Mr. Nunez absolutely destroyed the DSL, but he was a little old for that league and he was way too pedigreed for the league. Prior to this year, Nunez had made one helluva name for himself in the tournament circuit before signing as an International free agent with the Cardinals during this past signing period. He SHOULD have hammered the DSL pitching. Just take a look at this kid. He's basically a man. His mechanics are beautiful and he's built like a monster. This was from two years ago and he's only gotten bigger/thicker since:
However, success of some type will be sustainable for him and I feel confident of that. There's just a long way to go before we get a chance to see at what degree it's sustainable. There's no denying that the swing mechanic for Nunez is about as beautiful as you'll find from a person who wouldn't even be eligible to graduate high school yet.
The most positive development for Nunez has been his defense. As a matter of fact, there's a lot about the way that Nunez plays third that reminds me of Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers. First, he has an above average arm. It's more average when he fatigues during a game, but it's still good. Second, he's been know to be a highlight reel over there. But, like with all young players, there are some footwork issues, agility issues, and defensive consistency issues that need working out and addressing. Obviously, time is on his side. You'll notice the arm strength and the agility (clunkiness) issues right away here:
But, at the same time, he's also athletic enough to make plays like this (but keep in mind that this is a year earlier than the .gif above. He's put on some girth in a year):
Once again, let's pump the hype-breaks just a little bit on the supremely talented Nunez. Let's wait until he starts to produce stateside against equal-aged talent. All of the raw tools are there for Nunez to break the scene wide open, all that awaits is the opportunity.
Thank you to Fangraphs for the stats!
Thanks For Reading!!