#6 Justin Dunn
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 185 Level: Short-Season A Brooklyn Cyclones
B/T: R/R Age: 09/22/1995 (21) Age Dif: -1.4
Acquired: Drafted by the Mets in the 1st Round of the 2016 MLB Draft (19th overall)
Last Year: N/A
2016 Statistics: 11 G/8 GS, 30 IP, 1-1 W-L, 1.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .227 BAA, 35/10 K/BB, 1 HR
The Mets used their 2016 first-round pick on Justin Dunn, a lanky right-handed pitcher from Boston College. At 19th overall, it was the earliest in the draft that the Mets had selected a pitcher since they took Matt Harvey seventh in 2010. It took 12 days to reach a deal, but when the ink dried, both sides agreed on the slot value $2,378,800 bonus, and Dunn was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones (SS-A) to begin his professional career.
Brooklyn fans received limited looks at Dunn in 2016, as he was kept under the strict wraps of the organizational throwing program for pitchers making their professional debuts. He was initially used in two-inning piggyback outings, before moving to the starting rotation where he was held to three innings per game. Although his time on the mound was limited, Dunn impressed, racking up four starts with five strikeouts or more. The Cyclones’ staff led the New York-Pen league with 706 punch-outs last season.
Dunn’s repertoire is based off his fastball, which sits in the mid 90s, and tops out at 97 mph. He throws a slider and and curveball, which flash in the low-80s. If his fastball is labeled as “plus,” his breaking balls would fall around “average.” Dunn also throws a change-up, but the organization would like to see him evolve it to the point where it can become an effective out-pitch.
“We want to see him develop the change-up,” Mets minor league pitching coordinator Ron Romanick said in August. “That is a core philosophy here since I was hired over here five years ago, to introduce the fastball command and work the change-up in. That’s the thing I really want to see. I know they’re tired, and it’s the end of the year, but they should feel like they could do more when they leave here.”
Mechanically, Dunn has a fairly easy delivery, featuring a high leg kick and long stride for his size. His arm angle comes from over the top, but it tends to drop a bit on his breaking pitches. You can see Dunn’s mechanics here.
His athleticism is what stood out to the Mets during his college career, leading former Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa to compare Dunn’s profile to a young Dwight Gooden. Dunn won’t consistently overpower hitters with his fastball going forward, but there are some similarities in his motion.
Mike M adds –
Dunn is a good athlete that throws a loose and easy 95/96 with crisp mechanics. His slider is his second best pitch and I see it as a Major League out pitch in the future.
Dunn is the type of pitcher the Mets could fast track to the majors in the pen if they wanted to do so. They seem more interested in seeing if his changeup can develop into a solid third pitch which could make a high upside starter.
There’s a strong chance that the Mets assign Dunn to St. Lucie (A+) to begin the 2017 season, but unless they project him as a reliever in the major leagues, there is really no need to rush him to the big leagues. Wherever he pitches, Dunn will need to work on his stamina and secondary pitches to be successful at higher levels.
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