Justin Dunn

Position: RHSP
Level: Double-A
Affiliate: Arkansas Travelers
League: Texas League
Born: 09/22/1995 (Age: 24)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 185
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 1st Rd., (#19 overall), 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft (NYM); Traded to SEA 12/3/2018

Prospect Spotlight

Dunn was the main pitching prospect in the off-season blockbuster that sent Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets. The 2016 first-rounder is coming off a season split between two levels, getting his first taste of Double-A competition in 2018. Back at the level this season, he was named to the Texas League All-Star Game after posting excellent strikeout and walk numbers in the first half, pitching to a strong 3.46 ERA across 13 starts in the first half.

A plus athlete, Dunn’s coordinated mechanical operation allows remaining projection on his control and command. The fastball sits 92-to-93 mph, touching 95-96 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, moving between four-seam, two-seam, and even occasional cut-like variants. He locates the pitch best to his armside, showing occasional ability to spot the heater across the plate inside to lefties. Dunn shows a good feel for his two breaking balls, mixing a true slider in the low-80s and a softer curveball as a wrinkle. He 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. The changeup grades out behind his breaking stuff, 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 it flashes late show and armside dive that hints there’s room to develop a better third offering. Dunn will need to find something more reliable against lefties, who have consistently hit him harder throughout his pro career.

At 23-years-old, Dunn isn’t far away from helping in the big leagues and could fit as a potential backend starter as soon as late 2019 or early next year. With more changeup development and improved ability to face lefties back through lineups, the long term ceiling is a potential mid-rotation piece. 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 decent bet to get a chance to prove himself as a starting pitcher.