At the end of November, we looked at how each Jays prospect was doing in their respective winter leagues. Today, we’ll do the same.
I don’t think it’s a hot take to say that a Blue Jay prospect could be a Most Valuable Player candidate in the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM). Let’s start there.
Rainer Núñez MVP-calibre campaign:
When Estrellas de Oriente drafted Rainer Núñez in the fourth round of the 2022 LIDOM draft, one has to imagine what they were expecting from the young first baseman.
I wouldn’t assume they expected an MVP calibre season for the rookie, but that’s what they’ve gotten so far.
Núñez, who recently turned 22 years old, is slashing .270/.314/.487 in 118 plate appearances with Estrellas. While that’s impressive in its own right, he currently leads the league with seven homers, again, as a 21/22-year-old.
Le dio pa’ la calle el MVP de esta semana 💥 ¡HOMERUN de Rainer Núñez que empata las acciones para las @EOBASEBALLCLUB! 🐘🔥#LIDOM #CopaBanreservas ⚾️🏆 pic.twitter.com/MXZbP0qcVs
— LIDOM (@LIDOMRD) December 7, 2022
His seven home runs are tied for the most since the 2019 season. Furthermore, the last time someone his age led the league in homers was back in the 2012-13 season. That season saw Marcell Ozuna (also a rookie) hit nine homers as a 22-year-old, which is a LIDOM record for rookies.
A comparable MVP season came from Peter O’Brien in the 2019-2020 season. He slashed .243/.386/.479 with nine homers in 210 plate appearances. While O’Brien was older, he did also have a higher on-base percentage.
Núñez could very well be in contention for the MVP award this season, and with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, it’ll come down to the wire. The Dominican Winter League is free to watch on MLB . tv, so definitely tune in! Estrellas are currently fourth in the LIDOM standings, so they’d be in the playoffs if it were to start today!
Next up, we’ll look at Vinny Capra, who also plays for Estrellas.
Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation