This is the third in my series of 2016 MLB Draft profiles. Up next is a player the Dodgers have drafted in the past … and it isn’t Kyle Funkhouser. It’s college right-hander Justin Dunn.
6’2, 184 pounds
DOB: Sept. 22, 1995
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Slot recommended bonus (No. 20): $2,316,300
Slot recommended bonus (No. 32): $1,940,700
Slot recommended bonus (No. 36): $1,791,000
Editor’s note: All information of draft prospects compiled from internet sources, scouting reports and video.
Dunn doesn’t fit the mold of the kind of player the Dodgers have focused on in the draft for so many years. Sure, there’s some projectability there, but probably not as much because he’s a college pitcher instead of a prep pitcher. But there is talent in his right arm and some ability.
He is reminiscent to Walker Buehler in stature, but he doesn’t have nearly the acclaim the 2015 Dodger first-rounder had in college. Dunn has pitched mostly out of the bullpen while with the Boston College Eagles (43 appearances, 13 starts). He was moved to the starting rotation. late this season and has responded well (37 IP, 26 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 12 BB, 32 K, 91.5 Pit/GS). But the biggest thing was his stuff didn’t back up as a starter.
Dunn works with a fastball that sits in the 92-95 MPH range and has touched 97. He has been able to keep his velocity in that range when he throws deeper into games. In fact, he threw a complete game on Saturday to pitch the Eagles into the ACC Tournament. He backs up his fastball with a mid-80s slider that has good tilt and depth. He also has a curveball that resembles his slider, but it slower and his a little more of a loop to it (as it should, really). He also has feel for a changeup, but it’s a ways off.
There’s a lot to like about his delivery. He doesn’t exert a lot of effort to get the plus-velocity on his fastball. He delivers from a high three-quarters arm slot and the rest of his delivery is clean and without any funk. He’s athletic and that bodes well for him building stamina to remain in the rotation. He might even add a few good pounds to help him get through the rigors of a starter’s workload at the MLB level.
Video courtesy of Jheremy Brown
The Dodgers drafted Dunn in the 37th round of the 2013 draft. He, clearly, made the right decision choosing to go to school. This isn’t like a Funkhouser situation where he isn’t going to sign. The Dodgers have plenty of slot money to make sure that doesn’t happen. And Dunn doesn’t figure to improve his stock much by going back for his senior season.
If the Dodgers drafted him at No. 20, that wouldn’t be the end of the world. I think he’d be better value at No. 32 or 36 because it would allow the Dodgers to get the high school position player they’re reportedly targeting. But if Dunn’s the guy the Dodgers have identified as the top player on their board, they won’t hesitate to take him at No. 20. They’re definitely in on college arms, and Dunn has one of the best.