Reds 15th-round pick in 2021 MLB Draft could be diamond in the rough

CARY, NC - FEBRUARY 23: NCAA baseball. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
CARY, NC - FEBRUARY 23: NCAA baseball. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds wrapped up their draft by selecting Javi Rivera with the 600th pick of the 2021 MLB Draft. However, Western Michigan product Blake Dunn, the team’s 15th-round draft pick, has the potential to be a productive player at the major league level.

Dunn isn’t going to rank highly on any draft expert’s big board, but a lot of that may be due to the lack of playing time the 22-year-old had in 2021. Dunn broke the hamate bone in his left hand in the opening game of the season, and was limited to just 20 starts.

Don’t sleep on recent Reds’ draft pick, Blake Dunn.

Oftentimes, it’s incredibly difficult for late-round draft picks to make an impact at the major league level. However, after seeing Alejo Lopez light the minor leagues on fire this season, there are opportunities for skilled players, no matter where they come from, to gain a foothold and make the jump to the majors.

Blake Dunn’s skillset may allow the Western Michigan product to do just that as well. In 135 career games with the Broncos, Dunn hit .333 with 26 doubles and 11 round trippers. This season, in just 27 games, the right-handed hitting Dunn slashed .305/.474/.576.

Dunn also brings something you can’t teach; speed. In 2019, Dunn swiped 30 bags and had 50 career stolen bases during his time in Kalamazoo. Dunn uses his speed very well to track down balls hit into the outfield as well, and has the arm to stick in center field.

Dunn was a four-sport star in high school, competing in hurdles, baseball, basketball, and football. Upon graduating high school, Dunn was the second-leading scorer on the gridiron with 827 total points.

It’s hard to say where Blake Dunn will begin his professional career, but with his advanced age and skills, it’s likely he’ll wind up at Single-A Daytona sometime later this season. The Tortugas currently have last year’s first-round pick Austin Hendrick and Top 20 prospect Allan Cerda roaming the outfield.

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It’s always hard to predict how young prospects will develop, but Dunn’s speed is something that cannot be ignored. If her can prove that he has what it takes in terms of making contact, there’s a great chance that the Michigan native could carve out a role at the major league level.