Boston College right handed pitcher Justin Dunn is officially a member of the New York Mets organization.
The 19th overall draft choice in this year's MLB First Year Player Entry Draft, the Long Island native signed yesterday with the Mets, becoming the second Eagle to forego his final year of eligibility. He will receive a full slot signing bonus of $2,378,800, according to sources.
Dunn was introduced to the New York media alongside third-round draft pick Blake Tiberi on Tuesday, giving everyone the first glimpse of him in the familiar blue and orange.
A junior out of Freeport, NY out on Long Island, Dunn rose to prominence during his sophomore season. But he exploded onto the national scene during the 2016 season, when a potential first round draft selection became more concrete when he transitioned from a reliever's role into the starting rotation. He went 3-1 with a 1.34 ERA in eight starts after moving into the bullpen, striking out 49 to just 13 walks over 47 innings.
In the final regular season start of the year, he threw a complete game against Georgia Tech, winning the front end of a doubleheader that propelled the Eagles into the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2010. A week later, he was front and center as BC appeared in their first national tournament since 2009. They would win the Oxford Regional, due in part to his 11-strikeout performance against Tulane in the first round, to advance to their first Super Regional.
Dunn's draft selection was announced before that Super Regional against Miami, where he suffered a Game One loss. But he ended the season with a 4-2 record in 18 appearances, including three shutouts, throwing 65.2 innings with 72 strikeouts. Up until the game against Miami, he allowed only one homer.
A power pitcher by nature, Dunn brings a fastball touching into the high 90s to the Mets organization, along with a high-80s slider and breaking pitch. In his time at BC, he also developed a changeup which he used as an out pitch at times throughout the year.
"He has everything he needs in his toolbox," said head coach Mike Gambino before the Georgia Tech weekend. "It's just about refining it. He just has to continue to improve the changeup, continue to improve those two breaking balls, continue to improve his command, continue to improve his pitchability. He's now at the point where he's not going to try to increase velocity, but he's definitely going to get stronger, improve a body. But that's not a kid you're sending out saying that you have to give him something else to throw."
Heading into the draft, Justin Dunn's projection was anywhere from the top 10 into the later part of the first round. Originally thought to go as high as 11 or 12 to the Seattle Mariners or Boston Red Sox, he fell to the Mets, who have a homegrown rotation made up of elite starting pitching, at 19.
Dunn, along with third round pick Blake Tiberi from Louisville, signed yesterday and met with the media before receiving their assignment. Both will report to Single-A Brooklyn as part of the New York-Penn League.
The Cyclones are part of the same division (McNamara) as the Hudson Valley Renegades, Staten Island Yankees, and Aberdeen Ironbirds. The Mets' affiliate are one of six National League minor league clubs int he league, but they're the only ones in their division.
The Lowell Spinners are part of the Stedler Division of the NY-Penn League. Boston College catcher Nick Sciortino signed last week with the Boston Red Sox and plays on that team.
The battery mates are two of Boston College's four draft picks in the first 20 rounds. Jesse Adams and Mike King remain unsigned by their respective clubs (Cincinnati and Miami).
Dunn is tied for the second highest draft pick in Boston College history with Chris Lambert, who was picked 19th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004. Tony Sanchez went fourth overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009.
Chris Shaw is the only other first round pick in the history of the program, picked 31st overall last year by the San Francisco Giants as part of the Compensatory Sandwich Round picks tacked onto the back of the first round.