logo

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 35: Rainer Nuñez

alt
Photo credit:© Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
3 months ago
The Blue Jays have a mashing first baseman in their organization.
This is Blue Jays Nation’s annual pre-season list, in which I’ll take a look at the top 50 prospects in the organization. We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and other publications’ scouting reports if available.
Let’s take a look at Rainer Nuñez

Getting to know Rainer Nuñez…

Position: First base
Bats: Right
Born: December 4, 2000
Acquired: 2017 International Free Agency
2023 Team: Double-A New Hampshire
Previous Ranking: 27
Nuñez’s first two seasons in the organization weren’t great. In 2018 with the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays, the first baseman slashed .247/.298/.328 with two homers in 272 plate appearances, along with a 5.9 BB% and 11 K%. His 2019 with the Gulf Coast League, a precursor to the Florida Complex League, was worse, as he slashed .173/.248/.286 with three homers in 153 plate appearances for a 55 wRC+.
After the non existent minor league season in 2020, Nuñez started his season with the Florida Complex League Jays, where he slashed .274/.370/.484 with five homers in 146 plate appearances with a 13.7 BB% and a 15.1 K%. Nuñez got a taste of Single-A action, hitting a home run in 23 plate appearances.
However, Nuñez made his mark during the 2022 season, which was a breakout year for the first baseman. With the Single-A Blue Jays, he slashed .299/.328/.482 with 15 home runs in 384 plate appearances, along with a 3.6 BB% and a 21.4 K%. Nuñez won the batting title for the Florida State League in 2022, which wouldn’t be his only hardware in the calendar year.
Before winning another award, Nuñez had a stop in High-A Vancouver during the 2022 season where he slashed .321/.379/.491 with four homers in 116 plate appearances, nearly winning the Northwest League Championship with the Canadians.
Nuñez played with Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican Winter League, where he slashed .263/.303/.445 and hit seven home runs. He ended up winning the LIDOM Rookie of the Year, along with hitting the most home runs in the shortened season.
The 2023 season started off well for Nuñez, as he slashed .309/.390/.446 with three homers in 159 plate appearances for the High-A Vancouver Canadians, along with a 10.1 BB% and an 18.9 K%. He had more walks in those 116 plate appearances (16) than he did in Single-A during the 2022 season (14).
However, Nuñez hit a roadblock in the upper-minors, as he slashed .224/.273/.352 with 10 homers in 326 plate appearances with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. This was the first time he had a wRC+ below 120 (it was 70) since the 2019 season, and his K% was by far the highest it had ever been.
Nuñez only ranks on one top prospect list this season, as TSN’s Scott Mitchell ranked him 44th overall. He noted that the 23-year-old struggled throughout the season and while his exit velocities are impressive (he consistently smacks the ball hard, even in 2022), Nuñez has to hit.
There’s certainly hope that Nuñez can turn it around as he will repeat the Double-A level. The raw power is impressive and he does have a batting title on his mantle, so there’s definitely something there.

In case you missed it…

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: The honourable mentions
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 45: Fernando Pérez
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 44: Zach Britton
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 43: David Guzmán
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 42: Devonte Brown
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 41: Manuel Beltre
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 40: Yhoangel Aponte
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 39: Dasan Brown
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 38: Peyton Williams
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 37: Nick Goodwin
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 36: Hagen Danner

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

Check out these posts...