Posted by Thomas Brennan at 10:00 AM
Tom Brennan - TOP 25 METS' PROSPECTS: # 6 JUSTIN DUNN
Justin Dunn was the Mets' first round pick (19th overall). The Yanks picked one slot ahead at 18 and nabbed OF Blake Rutherford - it will be interesting to see whose pick works out better. Also interesting is that Dunn and the Mets’ supplemental 1st round pick Anthony Kay are both from Long Island.
The righty Dunn (listed at 6’2”, 185) signed quickly at the age of 20 after honing his craft in Boston College. He made 11 appearances, 8 of which were starts, but none of which exceeded 3 innings due to innings restrictions, given his college pitching earlier that year, so the equivalent of 11 short and long relief appearances.
How did he do in his final (junior) year at BC? Well, the school website says this:
AS A JUNIOR (2016)
Named Baseball America 3rd Team All-America … also collected All-Atlantic Coast Conference 3rd Team, American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Northeast 2nd Team and New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-New England 2nd Team honors … recorded a 2.06 ERA with a 4-2 record, two saves, three combined shutouts and a .214 opponent batting average in 18 appearances and eight starts … ERA was fourth-best in the ACC while opponent batting average is seventh.
Recorded a 2.19 ERA with 49 strikeouts and just 15 walks as a starter … racked up a win, two saves, 17 strikeouts and just three walks in nine appearances out of the bullpen … in total, allowed 52 hits, 17 runs – 15 earned – 18 walks and 72 strikeouts over 65.2 innings … of the 52 hits allowed, just 11 – seven doubles, one triple and three home runs – were for extra bases.
One of two Eagles to throw a complete game in 2016 … ranked on 12 ACC top-10 lists, including tied for first for fewest runs allowed, tied for second for fewest earned runs allowed and fourth for fewest hits allowed … 9.87 strikeouts per game ranked fifth in the league, 7.13 hits per game ranked seventh and 2.33 runs per game ranked fourth … went 5.1 innings in the Super Regional opener at No. 3 Miami (6/10), allowing six hits, a season-high five runs and two walks with six strikeouts ... struck out a career-high 11 en route to opening regional win over No. 15 Tulane (6/3), allowing five hits, two runs and just one walk.
Helped the Eagles to their first ACC Baseball Championship appearance in six years with his first career complete game at No. 22 Georgia Tech (5/21), allowing just six hits, three runs – two earned – without walking a batter and recording a career-high nine Ks.
Yadda, yadda, yadda, all that’s nice enough, but how did he do as a pro in 2016?
In his 30 innings for the top rookie ball league Brooklyn Cyclones, he allowed 25 hits, walked 10, fanned 35, and had an ERA of 1.50. Three of his 5 earned runs allowed came in one appearance, with just 2 earned runs in the other 10 outings. He did also allow 6 unearned runs, but let’s blame that largely on sub-par rookie league fielding, shall we?
Dunn is said to have an above average fastball, curve, and slider, and an average change up. He is a switch hitter and deemed to be highly athletic as well.
Concerns exist as to whether he will have the stamina to retain his fastball velocity over several innings. He’ll get a chance to show that in full season ball this year. Where?
My guess is he will start in Columbia and get promoted to St Lucie in mid-season – but if he progresses more rapidly, he might just be ready for a September bullpen call up to the Mets, if needed. Seems doubtful, but he is a first round pick.
Between college and the pros he got a good number of innings in, which I am guessing is what he wanted to do by signing quickly, so he would have a high innings limit in 2017.
I am looking forward to watching Dunn and fellow amazing prospect Tom Szapucki blaze their way through 2017. Along with PJ Conlon and Marcos Molina, they make an excellent starting pitcher prospect foursome to track on their likely paths to the big leagues as starters or relievers.
As for Dunn, I see him as a good mid-rotation starter or excellent pen arm for the Mets by 2019, if not sooner. Perhaps he'll be our Harvey money-saving replacement in 2019.
Tomorrow: Our # 5 Son.