Since this is the mid-season write-up, it's just a quick overview of the player. When we get to the preseason re ranking in the offseason, they'll be a lot more involved.
All stats are current as of 8/4/2019.
All write-ups were published during all-star week.
Prospect #17: 3B Malcom Nunez
Johnson City Cardinals
Signed as an International Free Agent in 2018
Malcom Nunez's Johnson City picture makes him look like a character out of Grand Theft Auto.
In my mind, prospects 18, 17. and 16 on this list are a three-pack of limitless potential. In my mind, their continued development just might make or break the Cardinals long-term success. In my mind, as of right now, they are more along the lines of "prospects 16.a, 16.b, and 16.c". They form a triumvirate of hope and potential at the lower levels that the Cardinals really haven't had, from a high-upside standpoint, since I've been following the organization.
Nunez gets the spot ahead of Fletcher because he's more technically sound than Fletcher is, and because his bat and skills are more developed. Once Nunez gets the back and shoulder issues that have kept him out of the lineup for Johnson City in check, he's going to go on a tear. He's too good of a hitter not to.
Also, I will put this gif in everyone of Malcom's write-ups until I retire. I could watch it over and over, and I'd recommend that you (and I am going to basically force you to) watch it over and over again:
As electric as his bat can be, and as good as his approach has shown the capability of being, what really hurts Nunez is his free-swinging mentality. During a brief stint with Peoria earlier in the year, Malcom got off to a tough start. Shortly in to his short-stint there, he showed signs of understanding m that he wasn't going to get much to hit, and adjusted accordingly. This period was brief, unfortunately, and by the time that his tenure with Peoria was up, he was back to swinging like a maniac at everything that was thrown his way. It wasn't the most promising full-season debut for the 18-year-old, but the tough nature of the assignment wasn't worth over-investing in the results.
I'm probably dead wrong here, but doesn't Nunez's pro-made swing kind of remind you of a right-handed swinging Ray Lankford (it doesn't)? At least, timing-wise? Or, bat-path wise? He gets his hands up higher than Lankford did, BUT STILL. Or, is this just me fantasizing about Lankford again?? You tell me (also, he girthy):
I will say, I was less-than impressed with what I saw out of Nunez defensively during his short stint with Peoria. He'd do a good job of squaring the ball up to his body, but he always seemed to play the wrong hop. He'd do well to be more aggressive at third instead of sitting back on balls hit to him. That arm of his still looks good, though.
And that's where we are at currently with Nunez. He's hurt, and we are waiting to see how he recovers when he returns to the rookie level Johnson City lineup. One of my concerns with Nunez was how his body was developing, but he looked to be in girthy-good shape during that short Peoria stint. While I'm not investing too much into his struggles there, the one thing that became absolutely clear is that he has work to do on his approach, while adjusting his understanding of how he is going to be attacked, if he is going to take the next step in his development.
Thanks to Fangraph for the stats!
Thanks For Reading!!