Friday, October 14, 2016

An Interview with IF Antonio Nunez

After an uninspiring April in Low A Quad Cities, IF Antonio Nunez started heating up with the bat in May and never looked back, receiving two promotions on the season and ending the season in AA Corpus Christi after a late July call-up. Nunez has always been effective at getting on base, but he really ramped up his running game as well in 2016, collecting 21 stolen bases and 62 walks in 106 games. In his final 23 games of the season with Corpus Christi, the 18th round 2014 draft pick hit .304/.402/.319. I caught up with Nunez by email toward the end of the season and asked him about his season.

Antonio Nunez - June 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

JH: You've really had a breakout season with the bat this year. What do you feel has made the difference for you?

AN: Preparation has been the biggest key. I have been taking a different approach at the plate this year, just being patient, getting comfortable with every AB, and taking it one at-bat at a time with the help of my coaching staff and my father, who also happens to be my first coach and continues to support me.

JH: What, aside from your increased offensive output, have you accomplished this season?

AN: This has been a roller coaster season for me having been called up twice to face better pitching and better ball players with higher IQs of the game. Just being around these guys makes me feel like I'm accomplishing a lot soaking up as much baseball knowledge as I can while I'm here. I told my family, hitting coach and my trainer back home in Santiago, Dominican Republic that this year with GOD in front I will finish in AA. Also staying healthy was my #1 goal and thank GOD I've done that this year.

JH: What do you feel like you need to accomplish to get to the next level developmentally?

AN: I feel like as long as I put my team first and continue seeking advice from my coaching staff, surround myself with ball players that are just as hungry for success, all the pieces will fall right in place. I'm never content with my level of play; I always see different tools I can sharpen in my game. As long as I'm not complacent I think I should do just fine.

JH: Can you give me a scouting report on yourself as far as your intangibles go?

AN: Well as for as my intangibles go I'd have to say my IQ for the game of baseball has definitely improved. Also the level of confidence I have in myself has also increased and all have come as a result of the constant support from teammates and coaching staff. Another intangible would be that I play with a lot of heart and at times it shows when I'm out there being super animated for my teammates when they score a run or steal a base. I just really wear my emotions on my sleeve and with a chip on my shoulder because I feel like I have something to prove to those who doubted me and said I couldn't but also to those who root for me and support me.

JH: Who was your favorite player growing up and why?

AN: My favorite player growing up has always been Jose Reyes! He's from my hometown (Santiago, DR) hahaha and because of the spark he brings to a team and the energy he brings. Also he can change the game real quick and can get something started, can make something happen in many ways. He's explosive, energetic, fast, live arm and just a player that keeps you out of your seat. However right now it's Starlin Castro I love the way he plays, hard and aggressive!!

JH: What Astros minor league pitcher would you least like to face in the batter's box?

AN: Definitely Guduan!!!! hahaha [That would be hard-throwing lefty Reymin Guduan.]

JH: What has been your most memorable experience so far in your pro career?

AN: Umm a pinch hit base hit to win the game this year in Lancaster. I had the day off and came in to hit in the bottom of the 9th and hit a line drive to win the game.

JH: Yes, I remember that well! I was at that game and got a shot of you breaking out of the box after the hit!



JH: Can you tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear?

AN: Well if I go out to eat with my family and friends, my mom orders my food for me because I get shy.

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I will leave it there, particularly because that last tidbit is VERY surprising for anyone who has spent time around the very outgoing Nunez! Thank you for your time, Antonio, and the best of luck as your journey continues!

4 comments:

  1. Post game at Lancaster Jethawks during "Launch-a-Ball" and waiting for fireworks show. Antonio Nunez sitting on the steps in the aisle. Usher: " you can't sit there and block the aisle". Antonio: I can sit anywhere I want. I'm a player"! Such an atitude already and only in A ball.

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  3. Antonio is a great and humble kid. He works hard and deserves all the success in the world. I'm glad to have met him. He also comes from a great family. Best wishes Antonio- don't ever change. I wish more players had your qualities.
    May God bless and continue to guide your career. See ya at the show.

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