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Marlins introduce second-round pick Nunez 

18-year-old shows off skills, feels like 'a teammate already'
@JoeFrisaro
June 10, 2019

MIAMI -- For a day, Marlins second-round pick Nasim Nunez got a taste of the big league experience. A day after officially signing with the organization, the 18-year-old shortstop from Collins Hill (Ga.) High School, went through batting practice with the Major Leaguers at Marlins Park. He worked alongside shortstop

MIAMI -- For a day, Marlins second-round pick Nasim Nunez got a taste of the big league experience.

A day after officially signing with the organization, the 18-year-old shortstop from Collins Hill (Ga.) High School, went through batting practice with the Major Leaguers at Marlins Park.

He worked alongside shortstop Miguel Rojas in infield drills, and was getting additional pointers from veterans like Martin Prado and Curtis Granderson.

“I had those guys in my video game,” Nunez said. “I just enjoyed every bit of it. It’s a true blessing.”

Accompanied by his parents and brother, Nunez also spent some time with Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter and manager Don Mattingly.

“I just love how they’re so open to me,” Nunez said. “It’s like I’m a teammate already. They’re giving me knowledge that some people haven’t given me yet. I’m not going to take that for granted, and I'll use that in my craft.”

Nunez was Miami’s second-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, and he signed above slot at $2.2 million, MLB.com has confirmed. The slot value for the 46th pick was $1.62 million.

Miami also has announced the signings of third-rounder, outfielder Peyton Burdick (Wright State University), fourth-rounder, infielder Evan Edwards (North Carolina State), sixth-rounder, right-hander MD Johnson (Dallas Baptist), ninth-rounder, right-hander Evan Brabrand (Liberty), 10th-rounder, outfielder J.D. Orr (Wright State), and 15th-rounder, outfielder Javeon Cody (Alvin Community College).

Nunez, who opted for pro ball over an opportunity to play at Clemson, is expected to open the season with Miami’s Gulf Coast League team.

“We did that with Connor Scott and those guys last year,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “We’ll get him started and see if we can jump him [up a level] at the end of the year.”

Scott was Miami’s first-round pick in 2018. The outfielder started off in the GCL, and later in the season jumped to Class A Greensboro. This year, that level affiliation is Class A Clinton.

Nunez is a switch-hitter who names Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. as his favorite players.

Listed at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, Nunez profiles as a future MLB shortstop.

“There’s no questions about his actions, his abilities; he can play shortstop,” Hill said. “That was the thing the first time we saw him. He was identified last year as a premium, defensive shortstop with tremendous motor. Great energy.”

Nunez got to hit, play the field, and had his own locker in the clubhouse. He wore No. 23 during batting practice, but notes that due to his slight frame, he typically wears No. 1.

Monday wasn’t the first time that Nunez has worked out at Marlins Park. He had a pre-Draft workout in Miami, and was hoping that he would eventually join the organization.

“I was hoping, because I came here and had one of my best workouts ever,” Nunez said. “It was amazing. The coaching staff, everybody here was so open to me. Just like the team. I feel like that’s a family thing. I can’t wait to carry that on.”

Worth noting

• Vanderbilt outfielder JJ Bleday, the club's first-round pick, is headed to the College World Series. When he’s done with his college season, he’s expected to quickly finalize a contract with the Marlins.

When that happens, the Marlins will decide where he will start off. It could be Clinton, or perhaps Class A Advanced Jupiter. The organization also will decide how much they want him to play, due to the fact that he will be coming off a full season at Vanderbilt.

“He’s been going for a while,” Hill said. “Obviously, their college season started in January. So when he gets through Omaha, he will have played a lot of games. But we’ll definitely take that into consideration when we get him signed and decide where he’s ultimately going.”

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.