Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: MLB Pipeline Ranks Malcolm Nuñez High


After being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, Malcolm Nuñez has been ranked in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system by MLB Pipeline. Where does he fall among Pirate prospects?

Monday night saw the Pittsburgh Pirates make their second significant trade in recent weeks. This came when they sent left-handed starting pitcher José Quintana and right-handed reliever Chris Stratton to their divisional rival St. Louis Cardinals.

In return for Quintana and Stratton the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo and first base prospect Malcolm Nuñez. While Oviedo no longer carries prospect status, Nuñez becomes the organization’s top first base prospect.

According to MLB Pipeline, the slugging Nuñez is now the 11th best prospect in the Pirate farm system. MLB Pipeline gives Nuñez’s power a future value (FV) of 55, hit tool a FV of 45, and his overall FV is 45.

The 21-year-old Nuñez has 350 plate appearances in 85 games played at the Double-A level this season. He has hit for a strong .255/.360/.463 slash line to go wit ha 110 wRC+. Nuñez has draw walks at a 13.7% clip, struck out in just 20.3% of his trips to the plate, and has hit 17 home runs to go with 11 doubles.

Since June 1st, Nuñez has been red hot. In 194 PAs since the start of June he has hit for a .304/.376/.573 slash line to go with a 136 wRC+. He’s walk at a 10.3% clip since June 1st while striking out at a 21.6% clip. While, yes, these numbers are slightly worse than his overall walk/strikeout rates for the season, they are still strong. He has hit 14 of his home runs and four of his doubles since June 1st.

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The biggest knock on Nuñez as a prospect is his glove. He struggles at first base and may project solely as a designated hitter in the long run. That said, with no quality first base prospects in the farm system the Pirates will likely give Nuñez every opportunity at first base before moving him to DH.