The A’s promoted two more of their top prospects Monday in corner infielder Renato Nunez and first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson.
Both had been playing for Triple-A Nashville, which was eliminated Sunday night from the Pacific Coast League playoffs.
The 22-year-old Nunez, ranked fourth on Baseball America’s midseason A’s prospect list, hit .228 with 23 homers and 75 RBI for Nashville. He was especially hot in the playoffs, with three home runs and 10 RBI in five games. Nunez was one of the most high-profile international signings in franchise history. The A’s signed him to a $2.2 million bonus out of Venezuela when he was just 16.
He’s primarily been a third baseman as he’s worked his way up the A’s farm system, but the club has experimented with him in left field recently. There’s thought he could play first base if need be, and he’s also an option at designated hitter. The raw power Nunez shows at the plate is considered his best tool, and he impressed A’s manager Bob Melvin with some of the tape-measure homers he’s hit in batting practice the past two springs.
Olson, also 22, ranks 10th on Baseball America’s A’s prospect list. He’s slid down the past couple of seasons as his offensive numbers have dropped since a spectacular 2014 season when the left-handed hitting Olson hit 37 homers with 97 RBI and 117 walks for Single-A Stockton. This season, he hit .235 with 17 homers and 60 RBI for Nashville. Olson spent most of the year in right field but primarily has been a first baseman since the A’s drafted him in the compensation round (47th overall) in the 2012 draft.
Melvin has spoken highly of Olson’s defensive skills at first base, and like Nunez, Olson’s pure power is considered one of his biggest assets.