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Nunez Getting Ready
"I pulled my hamstring in a game against Atlanta and I was out for quite a while," Nunez said through the help of a translator. "I really got down because I wanted to be out there and seeing all of my friends and teammates playing, and knowing that I could help them but all I could do was just sit there, that was frustrating."
Missing a bat with his production wasn't an easy obstacle for his team to overcome. The good news, however, was that Nunez and his coaches were able to work on his approach during his rehab.
Once boasting a very long swing that was predominantly pull-side and had an aggressive approach to boot, he started working on going center-to-opposite field, staying short, and letting his natural power take over.
"My body feels great now but I'm touching a few [instructional] points here and there in practice, on defense and in the cages," Nunez said. "I'm just working hard on my approach."
His refined approach has been quite evident already, lacing an RBI single to right field against the Phillies last Monday, doubling to right-center last Tuesday in an intrasquad game, and smashing another RBI single to right field last Wednesday against the Blue Jays.
"Obviously it shows that, what I've been working on showed out on the field with that double and it felt really good," he said.
Once a predominant pull hitter back in his Dominican Summer League days, Nunez, who arguably has the most power potential in the farm system outside of Jesus Montero, even struggled during last week's home run derby.
Getting a lot of backspin on the baseball and driving it to right-center consistently - two things that never would have been traits associated with Nunez even a year ago - caused him to finish third in the home run derby behind J.R. Murphy and eventual winner Kelvin De Leon.
"I've changed my ways from the Dominican to here," he said with a smile. "I try to see more pitches to get a better read on the ball."
With his hamstring no longer an issue and now armed with a refined offensive approach, Nunez feels like he can bounce back in a big way next season.
"I'm getting my body ready for that and mentally too. I think it will be a good year," he concluded.
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