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For the season, Nunez still has an eye-opening stat line: a .296 batting average with 12 home runs and 27 stolen bases. However, in July, only the steals have remained with nine steals this month. Nunez has not been able to maintain the surprising power or the suspiciously-high BABIP that boosted his Fantasy value throughout much of the first half.
In the short run, things could get a little better for Nunez as he joins the Giants. He will begin his tenure there filling in for Matt Duffy (Achillies) at third base. Especially with Hunter Pence (hamstring) on the verge of coming off the disabled list, Nunez will find himself surrounded by a more potent lineup than he had in Minnesota. Duffy could be back in roughly a week, and at that point, there won't be anywhere for Nunez to get regular plate appearances.
All will not be lost for Nunez's Fantasy owners, because his versatility will allow him to spell several different regulars. His best opportunity for playing time just might be the outfield, as Pence, Denard Span and Angel Pagan could all stand to get rested on a semi-regular basis. Nunez could also give Joe Panik a break against lefties.
The only thing we can truly count on from Nunez is steals, and he can still help in that category if his playing time is cut in half. He won't help quite as much, though, so at minimum, owners should plan on eventually benching him. You won't likely be able to replace all of Nunez's steals off waivers, but among shortstops, Jose Reyes, Javier Baez and Tim Anderson present your best options. If you have some roster flexibility, you could pick up the widely-available Hernan Perez and play him at third base or outfield.
It's not yet clear who will succeed Nunez as the Twins' everyday shortstop, but the most Fantasy-relevant option could be the just-recalled Jorge Polanco. With regular play, he could pick up a handful of steals and hit for a decent average. At Triple-A Rochester this season, Polanco has had a modest power breakout, hitting nine home runs, 14 doubles and six triples in 74 games.
The Twins received lefty pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia in the deal, and it may not be long before he is a part of the big league rotation. Mejia profiles as a merely decent strikeout pitcher, but he has exhibited great control, and his flyball tendencies should play well at Target Field. He could offer owners in AL-only leagues some rotation depth.