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A's prospect Nunez notches hit in Futures Game

Third baseman starts for World Team, has .900 OPS at Class A Stockton @JaneMLB

MINNEAPOLIS -- The A's are down a pair of top prospects following last week's blockbuster trade with the Cubs, but they're still equipped with some high-ceiling talent in their system.

Gone are Addison Russell and Billy McKinney. Renato Nunez, who jumped to the No. 4 prospect in the organization, is one of the new names to be excited about.

The 20-year-old third baseman, signed out of Venezuela for $2.2 million in 2010, was the A's lone representative at Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Minnesota's Target Field.

Nunez started at third and batted eighth for the World Team, going 1-for-2 with a single.

He's hitting .282 with a .900 OPS at Class A advanced Stockton, having compiled 21 homers and 61 RBIs in 81 games for the Ports -- 58 at third base, 22 at designated hitter.

"Since they signed me I've been only a third baseman," Nunez said through an interpreter. "They haven't put anything else in my mind about any other position. What I'm trying to do now is to improve the little details to become a better player both defensively and offensively."

Nunez has already shown improvement on defense, raising his fielding percentage from a dismal .884 to .937 this season. Continued progression could lead to a promotion to Double-A Midland in the near future, with Nunez likely two years away from a big league debut.

"I work very hard between seasons," he said. "I try to put it in your mind you have to work hard and improve weak spots. It's a game and we need to enjoy it as much as possible. That's what I'm trying to do."

Jane Lee is a reporter for

Oakland Athletics