- Nunez made his U.S. debut in 2005 at age 18. The Yankees skipped him past the GCL and sent him to Staten Island. He justified their enthusiasm by hitting much better than anticipated while flashing an electrifying, albeit sometimes erratic, glove at shortstop.
- Eduardo was signed by Yankees scout Victor Mata.
During the offseason before 2006 spring training, Baseball America rated Nunez as 6th-best prospect in the Yankee organization.
After not being in the book for three years, he was back in the Prospect Handbook in 2010 at #14 in the Yankee farm system. Then he was back up to 8th-best prospect in the Yankees organization in the winter before 2011 spring training.
Nunez has some mental hangups that make him a high-risk/high-reward player. But he brings excitement to the field when he plays.
July 2016: Nunez finally reached an unlikely goal, as he was named an All-Star for the first time in his career despite not even being on the ballot.
Feb 17, 2017: When Eduardo Nunez sharpens his swing in the offseason, he does it in select company.
That's why you can bet that Nunez, the Giants' projected starting third baseman, will have a productive season. Otherwise, his hitting partners might not welcome him back. Nunez's group, which convenes three times a week in the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo beginning in January, is laden with talent.
Start with Angels slugger Albert Pujols, a three-time Most Valuable Player and probable Hall of Famer. There's also Seattle's Robinson Cano, who amassed 39 home runs and 103 RBIs last year, and Cleveland's Edwin Encarnacion, who averaged 39 homers and 110 RBIs in the previous five seasons.
Others in the club are Seattle's Jean Segura, who batted .319 and led the National League with 203 hits for Arizona last year, and Miami's Marcell Ozuna, who hit 23 homers in two of the previous three seasons. The contingent is supervised by hitting instructor Luis Mercedes, whose Major League career ended with an 18-game stint as a Giants outfielder in 1993.
Each player is an All-Star. Each has something to offer.
"We never stop learning. We work on everything," Nunez said after the Giants' first full-squad workout. "You don't want to be happy where you are. You try to get better. You learn from people. You learn from Cano. Cano learns from Pujols. Encarnacion learns from Cano. I learn from Encarnacion. We share ideas." (C Haft - MLB.com - Feb 18, 2017)
2004: The Yankees signed Nunez as a free agent, out of the Dominican.
April 7, 2014: The Twins acquired Nunez, sending LHP Miguel Sulbaran to the Yankees.
January 15, 2016: The Twins and Nunez avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal for $1.5 million.
July 28, 2016: The Giants acquired Eduardo from the Twins, sending LHP Adalberto Mejia to the Twins' organization.
- Jan 13, 2017: Nunez and the Giants avoided arbitration, agreeing on terms for a one-year contract for $4.2 million.
|Birth City:||Santo Domingo, D.R.|
|Draft:||2004 - Yankees - Free agent|
- Nunez was hitting from both sides of the plate. But he was so much better hitting righthanded that he dropped the switch-hitting in 2008.
He is still developing power and already makes very good and hard contact. If he learns to consistently swing at good pitches, he will be a good offensive player in the Majors, because he can drive the ball.
"He has to become a more disciplined hitter," Yankees farm director Mark Newman said near the end of the 2009 season. "You have to swing at good pitches and do something with them. It's the foundation of our hitting program. Some guys get it faster."
Eduardo has a smooth, level righthanded line-drive swing, using the whole field.
He’s got a nice swing. It’s a little rotational at times. He needs to stay through it better. But he shows flashes of doing it. He’s so smart that he’ll figure it out.
Nunez has good strike zone knowledge. But he is a free-swinger who is improving his plate discipline. On occasion, he will still get himself out swinging at the pitcher's pitch.
Eduardo has very quick hands through the ball. He uses good eye-hand coordination to get the barrel of the bat through the hitting zone with a very level, if not a bit overly aggressive swing. Nunez doesn't like to walk. He likes to hit.
- He is a good clutch hitter.
- August 21, 2010: Nunez’s first major league hit also drove in his first major league run to give the Yankees the lead in another victory. After the play, Nunez was given the ball. He held it softly, kissed it, flipped it to the dugout and smiled before 48,158 fans at Yankee Stadium. He said he would present the souvenir to his mother, Victoria Mendez.
August 28, 2010: After hitting his first MLB home run, a team security official retrieved the ball to give to Nunez, who gave the fan who reeled it in an autographed ball, as well as a ball signed by Derek Jeter, in return.
May 2, 2016: Nunez led off the first inning with an inside-the-park home run against Rays lefty Matt Moore to give the Twins an early lead. It was the first inside-the-park homer for a Twins player in Target Field history and the first of Nunez's career. It was also the 50th inside-the-park homer in franchise history, and the first since Kurt Suzuki hit one on May 20, 2014, in San Diego.
It was also the first time in Minnesota history a Twins player opened the first with an inside-the-parker. Last to do it in franchise history was the Senators' Al Kozar on July 26, 1949. Last to do it in the Majors was Eric Young Jr. on Aug. 8, 2012. ( Rhett Bollinger - MLB.com )
- As of the start of the 2017 season, Nunez's career Major League stats were: .273 batting average, 34 homeruns and 464 hits with 187 RBI's in 1,697 at-bats.
Eduardo can play a little too flashy, but it is obvious he has very good shortstop skills and a superb arm. He has very good hands. And he turns the double play well.
But Nunez is also a bit erratic, up to now. (September 2012)
Until the 2010 season Nunez lacked the focus to consistently make the plays he needed to make at short. His lack of concentration led to most of his errors.
In 2010, International League managers named Eduardo as the best defensive shortstop and best middle infield arm in the league.
His incredibly strong arm makes a move to the mound a possibility. He has an absolute cannon that allows him to make highlight video throws from deep in the hole.
Eduardo has a tremendous arm -- his best tool -- but it gets him in trouble when he tries to make a throw that he shouldn't.
- Nunez displays impressive footwork.
With Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez entrenched around the infield, Nunez's best chance for playing time may come as a super-utility player who also can play the outfield.
- During 2012 spring training, Andruw Jones, he of the many Gold Gloves in his career, taught Eduardo a few things about playing the outfield, and he says his student has potential.
"They need to put him out there so he can develop trust in his talent," Jones said. "Let him play out there if that's where they think he's going to play. I told him to try to show that he can play everywhere. He makes himself an everyday player that way. He doesn't have bad hands. He might get a bad jump sometimes, but his speed will cover the bad jump.
"What he needs to do is get familiar with left. He should go out there [during batting practice, when pitchers shag fly balls] and tell the pitchers, 'Get out of the way; I've got to work on something.'"
Nunez is still mainly a shortstop. And we have seen, Nunez make some very difficult defensive plays. We have seen him use first step quickness and a rifle arm to nail runners at first base. We have also seen him make some foolish and careless errors due to a lack of concentration.
As of the start of the 2013 season, Nunez has played parts of seven minor league seasons at every level of the Yankees organization. He has a combined Minor League batting average of .271, covering 2,961 plate appearances. In that time, Nunez has stolen 130 bases, while getting caught stealing 42 times.
Nunez is often criticized for excessive infield errors. He has recorded 172 errors in his Minor League career (as of the start of the 2013 season). In fact, he has three Minor League seasons of over 30 errors per season. The most recent was a 33-error 2009 season for Double-A Trenton. While his errors are excessive, it must be remembered that he has handled 2,866 chances in his seven seasons. That number helps put things in a bit more perspective.
During Instructional League after the 2013 season, the Rockies moved Nunez behind the plate. He had played a little as a catcher in high school, while playing mostly shortstop.
His footwork and range were drawbacks in the infield but not at catching, where he already possesses the first prerequisite for that position.
“For a kid that hasn’t caught too much, he’s got a great feel,” Rockies catching coordinator Mark Strittmater said. “He’s a very good catcher of the baseball. Soft, quiet hands. I’m like shocked how good he catches the ball.”
Because of his middle-infield experience, Nunez’s feet work well on his exchange. He has plenty of arm, and it’s accurate. Not surprisingly, Nunez must improve at blocking balls.
- As of 2015, Nunez was playing third base and shortstop. No more outfield and catcher.
- Eduardo has good speed. But he is a bit erratic running the bases.
- Nunez should be good for about 20 stolen bases per season.
- In 2016, he stole number 24, a career high, on July 24.
- April 2008: Eduardo was on the D.L. for a short stint.
- June 2008: He was back on the shelf for another short trip.
- May 20, 2012: Nunez was on the D.L. for about a month with a sore right thumb.
- May 6-July 6, 2013: Eduardo was on the D.L. with soreness in the left side of his rib cage.
- June 15-30, 2014: The Twins placed Nunez on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.
- April 30-May 18, 2015: The Twins have placed Nunez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique.