Saturday, January 12, 2013

DrB's 2013 Giants Top 50 Prospects #24: Jake Dunning

Jake Dunning, RHP.  DOB:  8/12/1988.  6'4", 190 lbs.  B-R, T-R.

AA:  5-2, 4.10, 68 IP, 22 BB, 53 K, GO/AO= 1.34, 2 HR allowed, FIP 3.17, BABIP .335.

Dunning was a hard guy to place in this list.  He's a guy who scouts better than the numbers he puts up and he's also a guy who has much better secondary stats than ERA.  I saw him pitch in 2011 for San Jose and really liked what I saw.  He is tall, on the slender side with a long, loose arm and terrific arm speed.  In the game I saw, he sat at 93 MPH with the fastball and touched 95.  I also seem to remember a fairly sharp slider.

There are several potential explanations for the discrepancy between his secondary numbers and his ERA.  1.  Maybe he's just been unlucky.  The fact that his FIP has been significantly better than his ERA at every stop would tend to argue that there is something more than just luck going on here.  2.  He doesn't pitch well out of the stretch.  This would tend to make his Hits Allowed come in bunches which would inflate his ERA.  3.  He still does not have great command and therefore has to catch too much of the plate to maintain the good walk rate, which leads to him getting hit harder than a guy with average command.

My guess it's probably a combination of all 3 factors.  I do think that his good peripheral numbers plus the scouting report gives him a lot of room for improvement in his results.  I could see him being re-assigned to AA in 2013 or promoted to AAA.  He's a sleeper to keep an eye on.

This is the start of a run on relievers.  I ranked him one notch ahead of Melonhead Jr. based on scouting reports and ahead of several guys who probably have higher ceilings but are still working at a lower level of competition.


  1. I log into newsnow (the UK version) everyday, to get the update and opinions on our farm!

    It is a thoroughly enjoyable read and I am learning a lot from your thoughts. Long may it continue

  2. I know you don't like to point to BABIP, but his BABIP the past two seasons were .362 and .345 (used Minor League Central), so they were very high.

    That said, perhaps that is his talent level.

    Given his peripherals, it would seem more likely that he's just unlucky so far. Though perhaps you are right that in order to keep his walk rate down, he gets too much of the plate, resulting in high rate of hits. I would have liked to see more strikeouts in 2012. But that's why he's ranked down so low.

    I have to think that given how well he did overall in AA that he should be promoted to AAA to see what he got up there.