Rainer Núñez: “I won the award because I deserved it”

Eastern Stars infielder Rainer Núñez, who was elected Rookie of the Year for the current Fall-Winter Baseball season, believes that if he won the award it is because he really deserved it.

“The numbers are there, that cannot be hidden,” Núñez said, referring to the fact that some understood that he was another player who deserved the prize.

Rainer, 22, led the season in home runs with a total of 7. He did it in 37 games.

The young player established a record as a rookie within the Eastern team, which was in the hands of Luis Jiménez, who hit 5 home runs in the 2011-2012 season. He also drove in 20 runs and scored 18.

He had a .263 batting average with a .303 OBP and .445 slugging percentage.

In the Round Robin he is batting just .067 after going one hit in 15 at-bats. (Not counting yesterday’s game).

Selected in position 23 (fourth round) of the 2022 Rookie Draft, he became the third player to lead the league in home runs in his first year, joining Marcell Ozuna (2012-13) and Ramón Torres (2016-17 ), both playing for the Gigantes del Cibao.

The native of La Romana found motivation to play baseball in several emblematic players from his hometown. Some of them are José Constanza, Ricardo Nanita, Danny Richar, Willy Otañez and Raúl Valdés.

While in Major League Baseball his greatest influences were Adrián Beltré, Alex Rodríguez, Manny Ramírez, David Ortiz and Robinson Canó, the latter with whom he currently has the privilege of sharing with the Eastern Stars.

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The young baseball player confessed that the first time he met Cano it was a very special moment. “The first time we met on the bench I was very nervous, I couldn’t say hello, he was the one who approached me and when we had to warm up I got worse, it has been a wonderful experience to be able to play with one of my favorite players, of what one You never imagine, but it happens”.

Since the first day of the Round Robin, Cano has been his best ally through advice on and off the field. For Núñez it has been a blessing, everything he has achieved in his life at such a young age.

He thanks God each day with a very special routine, even kneeling before each turn in honor of the creator.

“I know I can be an everyday Major League player, what I’ve learned here will help me at that level, I’ve matured a lot and I’m sure that when I get to the United States the difference will be noticed.”

The most difficult one
For Núñez, the most difficult pitcher he has faced in the winter league is veteran César Valdez from Tigres del Licey. “The guy teases on the mound, he plays with your mind, everything he throws looks like a strike, he always has a step up.”

His favorite
His favorite park to hit, like most players in local baseball, is Julián Javier in San Francisco de Macorís.

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