Joe Dunand has major league pedigree, but he’s not the same as his world-famous uncle.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 168 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Joseph Alexander Dunand is a 6’2″, 205 lb. shortstop from Miami, Florida. Born on September 20th, 1995, he was a 35th round selection of the Cleveland Indians in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of Gulliver Prep.
Instead of signing with the Indians, and lets face it, only six percent of players chosen with the 1,058th overall pick ever make the majors, Dunand decided to attend NC State. You can follow him on Twitter @Joedunand.
Dunand Joins the Miami Marlins
In three seasons for the Wolfpack, Dunand played in 178 contests and slashed .268/.334/.476 with 132 RBI. This includes his junior season, where he collected 18 of his 29 collegiate home runs. In the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft, the Miami Marlins spent a second-round selection on him, 51st overall off the board.
The 51st selection has a better track record at reaching baseball’s top level, 30 percent. The group is led by Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin (1982, Cincinnati Reds, 70.4 career WAR), Frank Duffy (1966, Atlanta Braves, 10.4 WAR), and Chris Haney (1990, Montreal Expos, 3.1 WAR).
According to the MLB Pipeline:
"Dunand’s power is more strength-driven than it is a product of his bat speed. He lacks plate discipline and has a pull-happy, swing-for-the-fences approach that he’ll have to tone down against pro pitching. He did have more success with wood bats on the Cape than he ever has with metal bats at North Carolina State, so his proponents think he can make adjustments."
Dunand, who is Alex Rodriguez‘ nephew, came to terms with the Miami Marlins for a $1.2 million bonus and reported to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League on June 29th. Unfortunately, he went on the DL just a day later. On August 25th, he joined the GCL Marlins in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, and went six-for-16 in five games. Promoted on September 1st to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads, he was four-for-11 with a pair of walks and a pair of doubles in three appearances.
The 2018 season would commence for Dunand on the Hammerheads roster. He opened the season ranked as the BA number eight Marlins prospect and number 19 in the Pipeline. From the beginning of the season, he hit in 14 straight games, going 20-for-56 with seven extra base hits and 18 RBI. He was named the FSL player of the week ending April 15th. Dunand spent just over two months in the FSL, and went 64-for-243 at the plate, with 20 walks and seven home runs. He totaled 42 RBI and slashed .263/.326/.391. On June 9th, he hit a single, a double, and a home run for a pair of RBI along with three runs scored in a 9-4 win against the Clearwater Threshers. He was promoted to the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League on June 22nd. Here’s some video of him from early in the 2018 season, courtesy of 2080 Baseball.
After joining the Shrimp, Dunand slashed .212/.276/.369 with another seven homers and 28 RBI, with 16 walks and 71 whiffs in 239 plate appearances. In his 128 overall appearances through the season, Dunand collected 21 multi-hit games, including eight instances of three or more hits. On August 15th, he hit a single, a double, and two home runs, totaling four RBI in a 9-2 victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He was named the SL Player of the Week ending August 19th, after going nine-for-24 with three doubles, three homers, and seven RBI in six games.
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Dunand didn’t appear at any defensive positions other than at shortstop, although his ultimate destination is believed by many to be the hot corner. In 1026 1/3 innings of work across the two levels in 2018, he made a total of 15 errors for a .970 fielding percentage.
Dunand should begin the 2019 campaign with the Shrimp to work out some of his contact issues and sky-high whiff rate. It’s expected that before the close of the campaign he joins the New Orleans Baby Cakes in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. Dunand should be in the mix for an opening day roster spot in 2020.
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