Baltimore Orioles: Renato Nunez Making Case For Baltimore Orioles’ Future Designated Hitter Spot
By Austin White
With a surprising 2019 season, Renato Nunez is putting himself in the conversation to stick with the Baltimore Orioles for a long time.
There is no questioning that Renato Nunez put up the best month of his young career in July for the Baltimore Orioles.
The DH slashed .304/.379/.576 and led the O’s in home runs with seven and RBI with 19 for July as the Orioles went 12-12, the first time they weren’t below .500 for a month since August of 2017.
Nunez was at the forefront of the successful month and his offensive production this season is something that looks like the Orioles can continue to build with.
His hard-hit percentage this season of 45.4 percent is way above MLB average of 34.4 percent, while his exit velocity of 91.1 is also above the 87.5 MLB average.
Nunez is also tied for the 17th most home runs in MLB with 25 while his 63 RBI ranks 33rd, both of which lead the Orioles.
Nunez has 44 extra-base hits on the season as well, which is the second-most on the squad behind Trey Mancini’s 50.
The normal stats aren’t as high as a team would expect for their designated hitter as Nunez ranks outside of the top five in the AL in almost every stat at the position.
However, an improving .252/.320/.504 slash line is something to be optimistic about. The advanced stats numbers show that there is certainly still room for improvement for the 25-year-old in his first full season at the major level.
However, there are still many warning signs as well with Nunez. He hasn’t shown too many signs outside of his hot July of being a guy who can hit for average, while his strikeout percentage of 25.1 is also quite a bit above MLB average at 21.6.
Chris Davis had a similar type of trend where it was all or nothing when it came to his power, and the Orioles have learned the hard way with betting on that type of hitter.
Nunez isn’t close to the extremes that Davis presents, but over the last two months of the season, seeing Nunez expand on his .302 average in July would be a welcoming sight for the Orioles.