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Chicago White Sox: Dane Dunning’s rookie season grade

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Dane Dunning had a really good rookie season for the Chicago White Sox.

The Chicago White Sox made a big trade a few years ago with the Washington Nationals. They sent Adam Eaton over to the Nats in exchange for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. Giolito came over and was awful for a year and then he became one of the best pitchers in the league. Reynaldo Lopez was awesome for a while but then started to fall off. Dane Dunning was the least talked about but he has just been a solid pitcher throughout.

Dunning made his MLB debut in 2020 after a return from Tommy John. He was very good in his rookie year and turned some heads at times. He ran out of gas by the time the playoffs rolled around but there is no doubt that he has taken a big step in 2020.

He went out and posted a 2-0 record, a 3.97 ERA, 1.118 WHIP, and 35 strikeouts over seven starts (34.0 innings). Those are some good numbers for a kid who is just getting his feet wet in the big leagues. He doesn’t necessarily blow pitches by anyone but you know that when he steps on the ice, he is going to give you quality innings loaded with strikes.

A pitcher who throws strikes is one that can pitch in the middle-end of any rotation in baseball. He is on track to becoming a professional pitcher that can eat innings and help teams win ballgames. If he keeps up this kind of development, he is going to be great for a long time.

Final Grade: B+

The only reason it isn’t an A for Dane Dunning is because of the fact that he didn’t lock himself into being more than an opener for game three of the playoffs. For some reason, Rick Renteria didn’t trust him to try and get out of his own jam but it is what it is. The B+ is a good grade for a rookie who was forced to make his MLB debut in the middle of a pandemic following Tommy John. He is going to be great in 2021 and beyond.

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2021 outlook:

The White Sox traded Dane Dunning earlier in the week to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Lance Lynn. Lynn is a better pitcher right now and he fits the White Sox window much better than Dunning but he has a chance to be great for the Rangers one day. He is going to go to that rebuilding team and help them become a contender in the AL West once again. His time with the White Sox was short but he is the type of player you root for even after he leaves your team.

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