Boston College right handed pitchers Mike King and Justin Dunn are among the top 200 prospects for the 2016 MLB Entry Draft next June, according to the annual list released by Perfect Game USA.
Not too shabby - Junior pitchers Mike King (195) and Justin Dunn (201) rank on the @PerfectGameUSA's 2016 MLB Draft Top 250 Prospects list— BC Baseball (@BCBirdBall) December 1, 2015
Both juniors are draft eligible for the first time as collegians for the June event. The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Dunn out of high school in 2013 in the 37th round, but King didn't hear his name called before he enrolled at BC. MLB franchises can draft players after their senior year of high school, but once they enroll in college, they are not eligible for the draft again until after their third season.
King developed into one of BC's best arms before the end of the season, appearing in 14 games while making eight starts. Although he was only 1-5 on the season, he developed into one of the ACC's premier power arms, striking out 52 batters opposed to only 12 walks. His lone win came via a complete game shutout of Georgia Tech, an eight strikeout one-hitter in a 1-0 victory.
Although he finished the season with a 3.03 ERA, a couple of bad outings down the stretch fail to underscore just how dominant he really was. Prior to giving up four runs in six innings against Virginia Tech, he entered May with a 1.88 ERA while quickly establishing himself as one of the Eagles' weekend starters. His 62.1 innings were second best on the team last season, and his .235 opponents batting average was one of the best on the team.
Justin Dunn, meanwhile, established himself as a solid arm out of the bullpen while making spot starts throughout the year. He held opponents without an earned run through the entire month of April, a stretch that included wins over Georgia tech. Overall, he didn't surrender an earned run in 11 outings throughout the '15 season. Dunn finished the year with a 4.94 ERA, the result of a couple of bad outings early in the season where he gave up runs to LSU, Florida State, and Louisville - all national powerhouses.
In 20 appearances, including three starts last year, Dunn went 4-4 with five saves. His 47.1 innings ranks tops among relievers for the Eagles, trailing only the weekend start tandem of John Gorman, King, and Jesse Adams.
For Boston College, having two highly-ranked prospects for the MLB Draft proposes an interesting challenge, one they've experienced the last couple of seasons. It's a great stamp for the program to have draft eligible players receive calls from MLB franchises to start their pro career. Placing both King and Dunn in the top 200 potentially has them going in the sixth or seventh round, and assuming they would both sign with their respective franchises, it would be the third straight season of a draft eligible player leaving Chestnut Hill before they've exhausted eligibility. It's a testament to the coaching staff and the direction of the program that this is happening more frequently with, now, larger numbers of players.
At the same time, though, possibly losing those pieces, especially on the mound where pitching is so important, is something that can really hurt a baseball team. Andrew Chin - a draft eligible redshirt sophomore - left BC after being selected by New York in the 15th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and left-handed slugging outfielder Chris Shaw went in the first round last year to San Francisco.
Thinking back over those drafts, it's possible Boston College would've entered the 2016 season with Chin and Shaw entering their senior seasons while King and Dunn pitch through their junior years. There's no way to tell what could've happened in that scenario, but that's four potential high-round picks assembled on one team.
Boston College will begin their march towards the 2016 season in January when they host their annual Baseball Night In Boston event at Fenway Park. Tickets are currently on sale for the event. The full 2016 schedule of games has not yet been released.