Michael Nunez assists a young baseball player in one of his training sessions.
St. Mary’s assistant baseball coach, Michael Nunez, has been around the sport for his entire life. He had a long playing career before becoming a coach and individual trainer.
“Baseball has been a fun road, with lots of life lessons along the way.” Nunez said.
He is a former MLB prospect that played college baseball at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.. Out of St. Mary’s, he had multiple Division I schools consider offering him a scholarship, but his grades were always a major issue and forced him to have to play at a community college.
Nunez also mentioned that his work ethic in high school played a big part as well. Always being a naturally talented player, Nunez did not practice as much as he should have growing up.
“Baseball taught me to not take my natural talent for granted…” Nunez said, “Practicing with a purpose is very important.”
He added that he always would “sell himself short,” despite wanting to play professionally. He regrets taking the game for granted, and then an opportunity came around for him to become a trainer and help young players avoid making the same mistakes as him.
A few years after Nunez had stopped playing baseball, former Atlanta Braves player Daniel Nelson reached out to Nunez about an opportunity to become a trainer for youth baseball players. At first Nunez was skeptical about it, but Nelson said he would give him 48 hours to think about it before he came to a final decision.
Nunez thought back to his playing days, remembering how he struggled to get proper training as a 6-foot-4 player being trained by guys that were only about 6 feet tall. He decided to become a trainer because he wanted kids that were tall to have the proper training and mechanics that he wasn’t able to have during his playing days.
Nunez currently has about 20 clients in his youth training program. One thing that many players and parents appreciate about his program is that he does not charge for the first session so that players and parents can decide if he is the right trainer for them before paying for sessions.
One of his clients, Jacob Gonzales, had nothing but positive things to say about him. Gonzales mentioned Nunez has taught him to stay focused and remember why he’s playing. He also emphasized how much Nunez cares about him as a person and constantly checks in on him.
“He’s like a big brother and a mentor to me,” Gonzales said.
Although Nunez misses playing, he enjoys being a coach and trainer. He wants to help young players and his son (who also plays baseball) as much as he possibly can. Alongside head coach Joseph Ponce, Nunez is an inspiring figure in his alma mater St. Mary’s Knights clubhouse.