Courtesy of Point Park University

Friday Insider: How Pirates whiffed on top Cuban


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CRANBERRY, Pa. --  Malcom Nunez is a 17-year-old Cuban third baseman who posted some of the best hitting numbers anywhere on the planet this year.

He'll someday play for the Cardinals.

He should have played for the Pirates.

Sit down before attempting to absorb these statistics from Nunez's 44 games in the Dominican Summer League, which concluded a couple weeks ago: .415 batting average, .497 on-base percentage, .774 slugging percentage and, in 164 at-bats, 13 home runs, 16 doubles, two triples, 26 walks, three steals and 59 RBIs.

Even while acknowledging the obvious that there's a million miles from the DSL to Major League Baseball, his numbers were the best of any professional hitter at any level ...

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... and, within the DSL itself, the league's second-best batting average was 56 points lower, and that player hit one home run.

A headline on the analytical site read, 'The best hitter in baseball is a 17-year-old Cuban.' and they haven't been alone in raving about the results. Baseball America named Nunez its DSL most valuable player and its 'Helium Watch' recipient as the player on the most meteoric rise.

You've already guessed where this is headed, right?

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