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Rockies get prep catcher Nunez in sixth round

Rockies get prep catcher Nunez in sixth round

Rockies get prep catcher Nunez in sixth round

The Rockies may have grabbed their future catcher with their sixth-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, taking catcher Dom Nunez with the 169th overall pick.

Nunez made it to the pinnacle of high school baseball as a shortstop, and now he's trying to make it in professional ball as a backstop.

An extremely versatile player, Rockies senior director of scouting operations Marc Gustafson said the organization will first give him a shot in the infield.

"We're going to start him out in the infield," Gustafson said. "We took a premium athletic, handsy type player that has a good bat, meaning that there's some versatility. We're providing a young man to the development department that can play in the middle of the infield, corner, third base position.

"At some point in time, we'll probably take a look at the catching position. But what an awesome prospect."

The left-handed hitter out of Elk Grove High School (Calif.) played in the infield for the national team in both 2011 and '12, helping lead Team USA's 18-and-under squads to gold medals each time, before moving behind the plate this spring. The switch has turned out to be a good one for the 6-foot, 170-pounder, who was one of the more intriguing catchers in the Draft.

Nunez uses his feel for the game to play above his talent and has a good approach as a hitter, batting .424 and driving in 37 runs for Elk Grove this season. He has gap power -- three homers, seven doubles and three triples -- but doesn't profile as a power hitter.

He signed a letter of intent with UCLA, and if he decides to stick to that commitment, he will likely turn down something close to the $265,00 slotted signing bonus for his Draft position.

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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