Red Sox 2017 Report Cards: Infielder Eduardo Nunez

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Eduardo Nunez
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Eduardo Nunez /

Our annual Report Card series evaluates and grades the 2017 season of each member of the Boston Red Sox. Up next – Eduardo Nunez.

Eduardo Nunez proved to be a huge trade deadline pick up from the San Francisco Giants, as he ignited the offense after going from a last-place team to the Boston Red Sox in late July.

The move sparked the thirty-year-old, as in his first ten games in a Red Sox uniform, the versatile infielder hit .420 with four homers and 12 RBI. Along with the addition of top prospect, Rafael Devers, Nunez helped spark a horrid offense at the time that was worrying Boston as the New York Yankees remained at their heels.

One could say that the acquisition of Nunez was a turning point for the season. The hot start didn’t fade completely, however, as in all 38 games he played for the Red Sox in 2017 he hit .321. His speed and style of play also molded perfectly into this team. With the lack of power the team possessed this year, his aggressive baserunning gave the team another speedy option on the basepaths.

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His offensive output did not start in Boston, as he hit .308 in San Francisco, good for a total season average of .313 all the while being able to play essentially any position asked of him short of pitcher and catcher.  Versatility is always a plus over a 162 game season, exemplified by the likes of Marwin Gonzalez of the Houston Astros and Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs. However, once it became clear that the Giants weren’t going to compete this season, he became expendable.

While a set position isn’t a guarantee for Nunez, in an offseason that may lead to a big trade, he may ( and perhaps, should) be able to find a spot in the everyday lineup in 2018 if the Red Sox hold on to him- barring any lingering issues with the knee.

The knee injury, however, is what holds Nunez back a grade in my opinion. Coming to Boston, most weren’t sure what he was capable of, but when healthy he was an extremely valuable weapon. However, As a deadline acquisition, a DL stint then eventual exit from Game 1 of the ALDS is not ideal.

However, what is promising is that he doesn’t seem to need surgery. It is important to remember he is hitting free agency, but as a team that absolutely needs to make huge improvements next season, Nunez should be a guy the team wants to keep, Especially with the uncertainty of Pedroia’s health.

B+. . Eduardo Nunez. . Infielder

Next: Top 5 free agent hitters

Only Dave Dombrowski’s offseason plans as well as what team Nunez believes presents his best opportunity will decide whether he sticks around Fenway or pans out to be just an effective rental.  It is hard to say for certain the grade he deserves due to the length of time he’s spent on the team, but looking at his overall season, as well as his specific performance with the Red Sox including his flaming hot Red Sox start, he is worthy of at least a B+ in my opinion.