Rockies get prep catcher Nunez in sixth round
The Rockies may have grabbed their future catcher with their sixth-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, taking catcher Dom Nunez with the 169th overall pick.
Nunez made it to the pinnacle of high school baseball as a shortstop, and now he's trying to make it in professional ball as a backstop.
An extremely versatile player, Rockies senior director of scouting operations Marc Gustafson said the organization will first give him a shot in the infield.
"We're going to start him out in the infield," Gustafson said. "We took a premium athletic, handsy type player that has a good bat, meaning that there's some versatility. We're providing a young man to the development department that can play in the middle of the infield, corner, third base position.
"At some point in time, we'll probably take a look at the catching position. But what an awesome prospect."
The left-handed hitter out of Elk Grove High School (Calif.) played in the infield for the national team in both 2011 and '12, helping lead Team USA's 18-and-under squads to gold medals each time, before moving behind the plate this spring. The switch has turned out to be a good one for the 6-foot, 170-pounder, who was one of the more intriguing catchers in the Draft.
Nunez uses his feel for the game to play above his talent and has a good approach as a hitter, batting .424 and driving in 37 runs for Elk Grove this season. He has gap power -- three homers, seven doubles and three triples -- but doesn't profile as a power hitter.
He signed a letter of intent with UCLA, and if he decides to stick to that commitment, he will likely turn down something close to the $265,00 slotted signing bonus for his Draft position.