Infielder Nasim Nuñez began his 2023 season in mid-February as a non-roster invitee to Miami Marlins big league camp. Last weekend, he wrapped up his participation in the Arizona Fall League. That’s almost nine months of baseball non-stop.
“I believe that my last offseason, I did what I needed to do to prepare my body to endure what I just went through,” said Nuñez to Fish On First in a recent virtual media availability. “My body actually feels good. I lost a little bit of weight.”
The eighth-ranked prospect on our Fish On First Top 30, Nuñez spent the regular season at AA-Pensacola. He slashed .224/.341/.286/.627 with five home runs, 43 RBIs, a 79 wRC+ and 52 stolen bases (setting a new Blue Wahoos single-season record). Nuñez played 95 games at shortstop and also spent more time at second base than he had during his previous MiLB seasons.
Although Nuñez struggled leading into the All-Star break, he and Patrick Monteverde earned spots in the 2023 Futures Game. Nuñez came off the bench to win Futures Game MVP, becoming the first Marlins prospect ever to receive that recognition.
Shortly after returning from the break, Nuñez went on a 17-game hitting streak.
Since turning pro in 2019, Nuñez has consistently drawn walks at a high rate, including 14.9% of the time this season. That puts him in a position to steal bases even when he isn’t hitting the ball well.
Five of Nuñez’s seven career home runs came in 2023. What’s fascinating about that is he’s shown he has enough strength to hit balls out to the opposite field. If he tried lifting the ball to the pull side more often, power could become a more significant part of his game.
Nuñez wasn’t done yet, playing 20 more regular season games in the Arizona Fall League. He slashed .253/.362/.291/.653 with 15 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. Splitting time between second base and shortstop, he did not make a single error.
The Peoria Javelinas advanced to the AFL championship game where they lost despite a big performance by Nuñez (2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R).
All things considered, Nuñez played in 157 organized pro baseball games in 2023, stepping to the plate more than 700 times. It was easily the heaviest workload of any Marlins prospect.
“Mentally playing all of those games, sometimes it would get monotonous,” said Nuñez. “I never thought I would say that about baseball, but sometimes it would get monotonous, doing the same thing every day, over and over and over again, so I learned ways to make it a little bit more interesting.”
Looking ahead, Nuñez will likely receive another invite to big league spring training…assuming he’s still in the Marlins organization. The 23-year-old was not selected to their 40-man roster prior to Tuesday’s deadline, leaving him exposed to the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.