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Don’t count on Eduardo Nunez as Derek Jeter’s successor

Nov 1, 2010, 3:18 PM EDT

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Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote a column over the weekend hyping 23-year-old prospect Eduardo Nunez as the Yankees’ eventual successor to Derek Jeter at shortstop.

Madden frames it as if the Mariners asking for Nunez held up the Cliff Lee trade. That could be technically true in that at some point general manager Brian Cashman surely said no to adding more and more prospects to the proposal, but Nunez was hardly the centerpiece of the negotiations and the Yankees would have gladly given him up in a deal for Lee if they felt the rest of the package was reasonable.

Madden also quotes two different scouts who have doubts about Nunez both offensively and defensively, none of which stops the columnist from writing that he “is viewed as a big part of the Yankee future.” Mark me down as skeptical, to say the least.

Nunez is still fairly young and has plenty of physical tools, so he’s certainly capable of developing further and becoming a viable big leaguer. However, right now he looks like utility infielder material after hitting .289 with a .340 on-base percentage and .381 slugging percentage in 118 games at Triple-A this season. Nunez managed just four homers in 464 at-bats and drew just 32 walks in 506 plate appearances.

At some point Jeter will cease being New York’s shortstop and when that time comes the Yankees may turn to someone like Nunez to take over for him, but he’s far from a top prospect, let alone “a big part of the Yankees’ future.” Barring some major improvements, Nunez looks a lot more like a Bubba Crosby than a Robinson Cano as far as promising young Yankees go.

  1. hardjudge - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    If the Yankees are smart( and they are), they will find a way to get Evis Andrus from the Rangers and be set a short for another 15 years or so.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 1, 2010 at 4:12 PM

      If it doesn’t involve blackmail pictures, it probably ain’t happening.

    • Charles Gates - Nov 1, 2010 at 6:26 PM

      Huh? First, I understand Andrus 22, has a ton of maturing left to do and from what I hear, and see, is pretty spiffy in the field. That being said, the dude had a .036 ISO last year. 2.7% HBH. OPS+ of 75. He did not hit a home run in the regular season this year. Zero. Zilch. None. Nada.
      His 30+ steals will help your fantasy team. And he has one of the coolest names in the game, but he will need to be the best fielding SS ever to make up for the fact that he swings a wiffle ball bat.

  2. pisano - Nov 1, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    Whether it’s Nunez or someone else , it’s time to look for another SS . The writings on the wall . Jeter has maybe one more year and it’s not going to be the same old Jeter . Jeter has slipped alot with his range and you can’t have a leadoff hitter that strikesout more than 100+ times a year . While on the same page Posada needs to go now too. Posada is a detriment behind the plate , he can’t throw anyone out and he can’t block the plate either . You bring him back as a DH ? he hit .248 , not much production at DH. The Yankees need to make major changes , while they’re at it Joba needs to be traded , the guy’s a total flop . They need another quality starter , a catcher a SS, and bullpen help . I don’t think it’s going to be an easy winter for them .

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