The Corpus Christi Hooks are nearing the end of their fantastic season.
The team is 25 games over .500 and are in a great position to make a deep playoff run due to the great play of everyone involved. One catalyst over the past few weeks for the Houston Astros minor league affiliate has been Antonio Nunez and he will be this week’s spotlight.
Antonio Nunez has taken a huge leap this year compared to his performance in the past. He was selected in the 18th round of the 2014 MLB draft and started his journey through the minors in the Rookie League. He spent his entire rookie season there and hit a measly .190 with an OPS of .582. Despite his poor play, he still got the promotion last season to Tri-City where he slightly improved his performance with a .250 average and a .378 on-base percentage.
The 2016 season is where the young infielder took his game to the next level.
This season has been a good one so far for Antonio Nunez. After starting off in Quad Cities as his previous self (.198 average), his game improved significantly after his promotion to Lancaster. There he hit .273 with 7 doubles and 2 triples. That earned him a trip to Corpus Christi, where he has been hitting 9th and occasionally leading off for the team. He has hit .315 and has 17 hits in 17 games so far. He has been a positive light for the young Hooks as the regular season comes to a close soon.
Despite starting to hit more for an average this season, Antonio Nunez does not have too many more strengths to his game. He has probably some of the worst power in the Astros’ farm system, with no home runs in 3 seasons so far with only 19 doubles in that span too. He also is not a run producer, with only 46 RBI in his career.
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One other positive attribute Nunez has is that he does not strike out a ton and walks at a good rate as well.
Antonio Nunez has some work to do if he wants to reach the Astros in the next couple years. But he has a solid foundation with the ability to reach base and can potentially be a future part of the infield in Houston. He is still only 23 and has time to improve as a player. If given more time to develop, Nunez can stop contributing to the Hooks and start contributing to the Astros.
*All stats via milb.com*