Nunez on Homerun Tear in Venezeula

Renato Nunez is one of the top prospects in the Oakland Athletics system. He plays third base but many feel that his best position is first base. A 220 pound frame hinders his mobility at third base. The Athletics are crowded at first base so they will need to see some power from Nunez before he can take over the position. Last year he hit 25 homeruns but with a paltry .228 average in AAA. This did not prevent him from being promoted to the major league club in September where he hit an even paltrier .133.

Nunez is playing winter ball in his native Venezuela for the Araguas club. In previous minor league seasons he has hit higher than .228. In 2014 he hit 29 homeruns accompanied by a .279 average. The Athletics would like to see him continue to hit homeruns, but with a more robust batting average that does not give away so many at bats. As the Venezuelan season is in full swing Nunez has been communicating to the Athletics that he has heard the message.

Renato has hit homeruns in his last five games. During that streak he has driven in eight runs and hit .316. For the season Renato has gone deep eight times with a .338 average. His walk to whiff ratio has also improved to 9/17. Those are the kind of numbers that would earn him a starting spot with the major league club. Venezuelan pitching falls far short of major league quality but the results are encouraging for the Athletics after the struggles he went through in 2016.

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