Dane Dunning Moves Quickly To New Level
After hitting the reset button and trading stars Chris Sale and Adam Eaton for seven prospects at last year’s Winter Meetings, the White Sox said they were no longer going to rush any of their young players.
Righthander Dane Dunning is an obvious exception.
One of three pitchers acquired from the Nationals for Eaton, Dunning opened the season at low Class A Kannapolis and overwhelmed the competition. Chicago also acquired Triple-A righthanders Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the deal.
In four starts with the Intimidators, Dunning went 2-0, 0.35. The 22-year-old allowed just 13 hits in 26 innings and recorded 33 strikeouts and walking just two.
Dunning pitched so well that he earned a quick promotion to high Class A Winston-Salem. He tossed five scoreless innings in his Carolina League debut.
"He obviously pitched pretty well in every outing he had at Kannapolis,” said first-year farm director Chris Getz. "He’s a guy who can throw four pitches (and) he works quickly. He just has a good feel for all his pitches.
"He’s got a good presence out there and he is always attacking. He’s very competitive.”
Washington selected Dunning in the first round draft of the 2016 draft, taking him No. 29 overall. At the University of Florida he worked as a starter and reliever.
The White Sox see him as a starter.
"Through spring training and into the season, we’re still getting to know him,” Getz said. "Watching him pitch on the minor league side in spring training, he was really polished. We feel very comfortable with him now.”
Dunning doesn’t jump out for his power arm, but he locates his fastball to both sides of the plate. That sets up his changeup, curveball and slider.
If he continues attacking hitters and pounding the strike zone like he did at Kannapolis, Dunning won’t be at Winston-Salem long.
"We’re certainly not afraid to promote him,” Getz said. "He’s been impressive. We feel very comfortable with him now and we won’t hesitate to move him along.”
Baseball America Prospect Report—April 7, 2021
Jonathan India has a career day, Dane Dunning picks up his first win of the year and more.
— Scot Gregor covers for the White Sox for the Daily Herald