The Dodgers’ very own Darien Núñez, a left-handed pitching prospect for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, has been named Triple-A West Player of the Week award for the week of May 10th-16th after a stretch of two appearances that saw the young pitcher strike out 11 across 6 innings of work. The 28-year-old prospect was signed as an international free agent out of Cuba in 2018 and has put together a total 1.96 ERA across 78 IP (127 Ks) through all levels of the Dodgers MiLB system. In the 2021 season, Núñez has allowed no earned runs across 4 appearances through the 2021 season.
— Oklahoma City Dodgers (@okc_dodgers) May 17, 2021
Darien Núñez is known for his high strikeout rate with his highest K/9 clocking in at 15.3 in 2019. A lot of this success comes from a solid delivery that allows him to consistently work an above-average fastball all throughout the zone. His ability to constantly threaten, mixed with his average to above-average offerings zone projects Núñez as an MLB middle inning reliever. Núñez’s secondary offerings rate at about average but are improving.
Here are some excerpts from an Interview we did with him last year from Dodgers Nation.
TR: The beginnings of your windup are similar to Aroldis Chapman, especially your leg kick. Did you learn that from him?
DN: If the mechanics of mine are something similar to Chapman’s, it is no coincidence since he played in Cuba. I always followed him as he is my idol.
TR: What year did you leave Cuba and how did you get to the United States?
Darien Nunez: I left Cuba in 2015, I escaped to Guyana, then I went to Haiti, and from Haiti, I crossed to the Dominican. I spent almost 3 years traveling and I spent all that time training. After the Dodgers signed me, I arrived in the United States in the year 2018.
TR: How did you like your time with the Quakes?
DN: With the Quakes, it seemed like a good season and more than that a good experience with all my teammates. We learned something new every day. They were good people both on the field and off the play as well as the coaches.
There isn’t much stopping Núñez from making his MLB debut this season as long as he keeps pace with what he’s already shown to do. There is plenty of room in the Dodgers bullpen this season, especially for a pitcher who owns a career 14.7 K/9 rate throughout his 3 season career within the Dodgers organization. It can be expected to see Núñez in the Majors by the 2021 All-Star Break.