No. 4 Starter: Dane Dunning
CURRENT LEVEL: A, A+
2017 SEASON: 8-8, 2.94 ERA, 144 IP, 168 SO
MLB ETA: 2019
Perhaps the least talked about starter as apart of the Eaton blockbuster trade, Dunning showed the White Sox front office and the South Atlantic league why he is a former first round pick. The 29th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Dunning came from a prestigious school (University of Florida) that has rich baseball history in it’s blood. Just like his role in the Eaton trade, Dunning was overshadowed by fellow Gators A.J. Puk and Logan Shore heading into the 2016 draft. Once Dunning began his 2017 campaign, he showed immediate dominance on the mound in his first full minor league season.
In 26 games started between Low-A and High-A, Dunning displayed pinpoint command on the mound. His 2.4 BB/9 ratio and 4.42 SO/BB ratio shows incredible promise as he was a model of consistency all year long. Dunning, along with already named starter Hansen, were both named to the MLB.com Pipeline all minor league team for their 2017 performances. One thing that is criminally ignored about Dunning is his athleticism on the mound.
A slim, but strong, 6-foot 4-inch build includes a slight 3/4 motion and a 93-95 MPH fastball with very good movement. Dunning’s main secondary pitch is a mid-80’s slider that has repeatable break to opposing hitters. Although I do have Dunning slotted in at a 2019 arrival time to the majors, he may reach that point as soon as 2018 due to his impeccable command of the zone. Like the rest of this rebuilding process, there is no need to rush the development of Dunning or any other player for that matter.
Just like any other predicted starter on this list, Dunning has the potential to be a top of the line pitcher, but the one downplay to Dunning’s game would have to be his lack of secondary pitchers. A good, but not great slider, and a changeup that is still in the works might be Dunning’s future separation between mediocrity and greatness.