Thursday, January 13, 2005

Leo Nunez Report

I'm off to Georgia for a wedding this weekend. I'll be back on monday.

Leo Nunez, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 2000, Dominican Republic
Bats R/Throws R
21 YO, 6'1", 150 lbs

Nunez is the live arm that the Royals got in return for Benito Santiago. A live arm is pretty much the best description of him at this point. Nunez cooks with mid 90's gas, and has several other pitches that he's working on to compliment that heat.

While Nunez is only 21 years old, he has 433 career minor league innings under his belt. He's performed fairly well, with a 3.37 career ERA, almost a strikeout per inning, a low (2.41 per 9IP) walk rate, and a reasonable hit rate. He did nothing to sabotage that in 2004, with a 3.06 ERA, 140 K's, 46 walks, 121 hits, and 16 home runs allowed in 144 innings for Hickory of the Sally League.

Nunez has a high ceiling with his good fastball and good control. But he needs to develop his slider, curve, and change to reach that potential. The Pirates have moved him slowly, which is a good decision. He'll start the 2005 season with High Desert, the Royals new California League affiliate.

ETA: 2007
3 1/2 Stars

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