If there was one professional baseball organization that seemed to court Dom Nunez a little more than any of the others it was the Colorado Rockies.
The past three falls he played for the Rockies’ Area Code team, getting to know a few of their scouts and coaches. He liked Gary Wilson, the Rockies’ area scout and began to get attached to the club.
So when the Rockies phoned him last Friday on the second day of the Major League First-Year Player Draft to see if he’d be interested in foregoing college and playing professionally this summer, it was a pretty easy decision for the Elk Grove High School catcher/infielder.
|Dom Nunez may ink a contract to play for the|
Colorado Rockies as soon as this weekend
“I think the Rockies definitely showed the most interest,” Nunez said Monday, moments after being named the Herd’s co-MVP, along with Rowdy Tellez, at the team’s end-of-season awards night. “They were one of the only phone calls the first day of the draft.”
The Rockies will probably officially sign Nunez to a contract sometime this weekend. He wouldn’t say how much his signing bonus might be, but because he was selected in the sixth round, the 169th player drafted overall, it could be a six-figure check Nunez will be depositing in the bank.
“I’m pretty much locked in and the deal is almost done,” Nunez said. “I’ll be flying to Denver and finish it all.”
From there Nunez, who was drafted as a third baseman, will go to the Rockies’ Spring Training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. From there, he’s just not certain what will happen.
Almost as soon as Nunez made up his mind to forego college baseball, he put a call into UCLA coach John Savage to inform him of his decision. Following his freshman year at Elk Grove, Nunez verbally committed to play for the Bruins and last fall he signed his letter-of-intent.
“He congratulated me and he was proud of me and he wished for me the best things,” Nunez said. “He said the Rockies’ organization is one of the best organizations for me and they’ll treat me good.”
One thing Nunez has been told by the Rockies is that they’d like to have him come from behind the plate where he spent much of 2013 playing for Elk Grove.
“They told me either short or second, then they said I might be catching one game a week just so I could be keeping the tools there,” he said.
At Elk Grove Nunez was always a leader with the bat all four years. This past season he hit .390 with four home runs and 37 RBI’s over 34 games. Last season he set a team record with nine triples, while hitting .429.
He said looking back on his time at Elk Grove, it was the friendship he struck up his freshman year with then-senior Jake Rodriguez that made a big difference for him.
“He took me under his wing when I was young and didn’t know anyone, was new to the school and I think his leadership qualities helped me,” Nunez said. “He’s the hardest worker I think I’ve ever met. He definitely impacted my high school career and made me the player I am today.”
Nunez hopes to be rejoined with Rodriguez very soon, perhaps as a roommate.
Rodriguez, who is wrapping up his junior season at Oregon State, was drafted in the 19th round of the MLB Draft on Saturday and may forego his final season in Corvallis to play in the Astros organization.
“He may live with me in the off-season and he’s asked my family if he can live with us and train (in Sacramento),” Nunez said. “With me signing that would be great for us to be together.”
In a few years the two friends may be facing off against each other in a major league setting. Nunez thinks he may have a great future playing in Coors Field, the home stadium of the Rockies in Denver.
“They are an up and coming team,” he said. “I am very excited and I hope I have an opportunity to step on that field one day and put that Rockies’ jersey on.”