School: University of Florida; Class: Junior
Position: RHP; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-3; Weight: 205
Previously Drafted: Toronto Blue Jays, 34th round, 2013
Background: Overshadowed – at least, slightly – by teammate and potential top pick A.J. Puk, Dunning, nonetheless, has had quite the coming out party for the Gators during his 2016 season. In a career-best 63.1 innings of work, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-hander out of Green Cove Springs, Florida, has fanned 76, walked just 10, and tallied a strong enough 2.70 ERA.
This comes on the heels of his solid 2015 campaign when he posted a 55-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 60.1 innings of work.
Projection: So here’s the thing about Dunning: he didn’t look all that good as a full-time starting pitcher two years ago. And he’s been a bit homer-friendly as various points throughout his career as well, surrendering four dingers in 60.1 innings in 2015 and another three long balls in 63.1 innings this season. Granted, it’s only about 0.57 HR/9, but it’s a bit high for a potential early pick.
Dunning will miss some bats – particularly this year out of relief.
I’m not overly certain he’ll stay in the rotation – especially since he couldn’t do that in college – but Dunning could be a solid eight-inning guy in the professional ranks.
Ceiling: 1.0- to 1.5-win player
Floor: 0.5-win player
Grade: Third Round