ODDY NUNEZ, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: December 20, 1996
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2015, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Nunez signed just before the DSL season started, then got into only one game in June while MLB confirmed his age/identity. He’s a tall lefty, who was throwing mainly in the upper-80s through 2016, but by spring of 2017 he was generally getting into the low-90s and reaching 93. Unfortunately, in 2018 his velocity had dropped again. Nunez also throws a couple of different breaking balls and a change. He throws from a low three-quarters angle with a short-arm motion that might be a little tricky for hitters to pick up.
Nunez was very effective pitching in relief. Over half the runs he allowed were unearned, but his other numbers were very solid.
The Pirates sent Nunez to the GCL, where he pitched in long relief. He put up numbers very similar to what he had in 2015.
Nunez impressed the Pirates enough in camp that they moved him up to West Virginia and put him in the rotation. His workload was strictly limited, especially at first. He generally threw only 3-4 innings through the season’s first month, but he had a lot of efficient outings. By July he was routinely getting into the sixth inning, although his pitch count reached 90 only once. In his last start of the season, he went seven innings on just 76 pitches. Nunez’ numbers early in the season, are hard to judge because the Power had some severe defensive issues then, with the worst of them seeming to occur while Nunez was pitching. The result wasn’t just errors, but a lot of hits that should have been outs . . . or should have been scored errors, as Nunez was also frequently victimized by bad scoring decisions. It wasn’t unusual for him effectively to have to get 5-6 outs, or more, in an inning. Largely as a result, he had an ERA of 5.29 in April even though he pitched well. He had an ERA of 2.26 from May through mid-July. He seemed to tire at that point and had an ERA of 5.40 from mid-July through the end of August, before giving up just one run in seven innings in his only September start. Nunez was a strong groundball pitcher and held left-handed hitters to an OPS of .498, compared to the OPS of .716 posted against him by right-handed hitters.
Nunez had a rough season. He started off in the Bradenton rotation and even threw an eight-inning, complete game no-hitter. His velocity was back down in the upper-80s, though, or even lower, and his breaking pitches weren’t as effective. After he gave up 18 earned runs over 14.2 IP in three July starts, the Pirates sent him down to West Virginia. He was more effective there.
The Pirates returned Nunez to Bradenton, but after eight mostly ineffective starts he went out with back problems. He later also had a rib injury, although it may have been related to the back problems, but the end result was that he missed the rest of the season.
Nunez spent the season in the Altoona bullpen. It obviously didn’t go well, as he allowed earned runs in 17 of his 28 games. He didn’t get hit exceptionally hard, but walks, as well as hit batsmen and wild pitches, did him in. He also got hurt by a low 59.6% strand rate. The one plus was that he posted easily his best strikeout rate.
Nunez will be a minor league free agent after the season.
|2021: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2015
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|May 11, 2015: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.