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A's eager to insert prospect Nunez into lineup

'He's a very complete hitter,' Olson says of former Sounds teammate
MLB.com @JaneMLB

ANAHEIM -- With Triple-A Nashville in its final week of the season, its parent club eagerly awaits the arrival of a few select Sounds players deserving of a September callup.

Renato Nunez, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the A's No. 22 prospect, is surely at the top of their wishlist alongside No. 1 prospect Franklin Barreto.

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ANAHEIM -- With Triple-A Nashville in its final week of the season, its parent club eagerly awaits the arrival of a few select Sounds players deserving of a September callup.

Renato Nunez, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the A's No. 22 prospect, is surely at the top of their wishlist alongside No. 1 prospect Franklin Barreto.

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The power-hitting Nunez, who on Monday was named to the All-Pacific Coast League team, leads all Minor League players with 32 home runs this season, while driving in a team-high 77 runs.

"He's probably one of the most polished hitters I've seen," A's first baseman Matt Olson said. "Seeing him get consistent at-bats here would be fun to watch."

Those will be hard to come by, however. Nunez has clocked the most time at third base, where Matt Chapman is entrenched; and although he's also been spending time in left field and at first base the last two years, those positions are also preoccupied in Oakland.

That means the Venezuelan Nunez will likely see the majority of his at-bats in green and gold at designated hitter.

"We'll have to find some at-bats for him, because he can really hit, probably as well as any of these guys," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "And to put up the type of numbers he did and get recognized for it, well deserved, and he must feel good about it.

"I think it's first and foremost rewarding him and getting him here, and then we'll kind of figure out where the at-bats come."

The situation grows trickier beyond September: Nunez, signed by the A's out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old for $2.2 million in 2010, must remain on the A's 25-man roster next season or be exposed to waivers.

The A's, who are riding a youth movement on the path of a rebuild, will have the winter to mull over the decision. Nunez, at least, will soon have an opportunity to force their hand in September.

He's the first Sounds player to be recognized on the All-PCL team since infielder Joey Wendle in 2015.

"He's had a great year, no doubt," Olson said. "He's been jumping around the field defensively, trying to find a spot, but him at the plate has never been a question. He's a very complete hitter. He has stupid power."

Added Melvin: "In an organization that has a lot of prospects like we do and most of them are kind of in the same group, he kind of gets lost in the shuffle with the Chapmans and the Olsons and the [Chad] Pinders and the Barretos. But you look at his numbers, man, and you talk to these guys that have played with him, he can really hit."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Renato Nunez