The main pitching prospect involved in the blockbuster trade that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from Seattle to the Mets, I got a look at Dunn pitching in a Major League game. The 2016 first-rounder is coming off a season split between two levels, getting his first taste of Double-A competition. Dunn was sharp across four innings of work, striking out six and walking two while allowing an earned run.
A plus athlete, Dunn’s coordinated mechanical operation allows remaining projection on his control and command. The fastball sat 92-to-93 mph, touching 95 mph at best, showing the ability to reach back for a bit extra when needed. Dunn has advanced ability to mix grips on his fastball, showing hitters four-seam, two-seam, and cut-like variants. He hit spots low and armside best in this outing, still showing some ability to go across the plate and command his heater inside to lefties. He shows a good feel for his breaking balls, going between a true slider in the low-80s and a softer curveball as a wrinkle. Dunn lands his slider both inside and outside the zone with intent, getting swings over the top by causing same-side batters to chase it down and away. His changeup grades out behind the slider but still plays as an effective pitch. It’s a bit firm at 86-to-88 mph and could use more separation off his fastball, though its late show and armside dive hint that there’s room to develop more of a third offering.
I was impressed by Dunn’s ability to show a deep arsenal of pitches and keep numerous speeds around the zone. Regarded as a candidate to move to the ‘pen as an amateur, he has ironed out parts of his game and now seems like a fairly safe bet to remain a rotation piece. He’ll likely head back to Double-A to begin 2019, with some chance to surface in the big leagues later in the year. Dunn isn’t far from being able to step into a #4 or #5 start role, and ultimately could develop into a #3/#4 type as he adjusts to the highest level.