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White Sox prospect Amado Nunez is catching fire in the Arizona Rookie League

The Arizona Rookie League is starting to heat up, and the White Sox Shortstop Amado Nunez is playing like he never has before.

Amado Nunez in the AZL in 2016.
Amado Nunez in the AZL in 2016.
Jake Rashkow

Tomorrow is July 2nd, the opening of the international signing window for 2016-2017. If you've followed the international classes over the years, you've likely noticed that the huge bonus guys are not always the ones who blossom. Typically the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers are the major players in these types of situations but the Chicago White Sox are trying to buck the trend.

In 2013, they were able to sign the # 2 International prospect in the class, outfielder Micker Adolfo. They broke their own record for signing bonuses by giving him a $1,600,000 bonus. Adolfo has had setbacks due to injury. In 2014, Dermis Garcia (Yankees), Adrian Rondon (Rays) and Gilbert Lara (Brewers) were the top prizes of the July 2nd International Free Agents.  The White Sox took a flyer on a lesser known shortstop by the name of Amado Nunez for $900,000.

When Nunez signed he was considered a bat-first prospect who could hit for power and average but with a questionable glove. Nunez made his stateside debut with the Arizona Rookie League White Sox in June, 2015 and went on to play in 21 games. In 2015, Nunez hit  just 145 over 76 AB's and struck out 20 times. In the field, he had a .865 fielding percentage and had 10 errors. Needless to say it was a rough year.

In 2016, Nunez seems to be a new player. He has played in nine games so far, hitting .436/.452/.615. Nunez continues to struggle in the field already racking up four errors and a .826 fielding percentage.

The sample size is tiny, of course, but it is more in keeping with his reputation when he signed: a guy who can really hit but needs work with the glove. We need more information to see if he's really turned a page in his development process, and in any event he is years away from the majors, but he's definitely worth keeping an eye on, at least as a hitter.