NC State shortstop Joe Dunand went much earlier than expected in the 2017 MLB Draft, going at No. 51 overall to the Miami Marlins. This almost certainly marks the end of his college career, as he can expect a signing bonus north of $1 million, which is pretty tough to turn down.
Dunand came into the draft ranked as the No. 122 prospect by Baseball America, so he was definitely drafted ahead of schedule based on that, but I’m sure he doesn’t mind since he’ll be making more money as a result. And he gets to head back to south Florida, which is a nice bonus.
Alex Rodriguez's nephew is one of the more divisive players in this year's Draft. Those who like Dunand point to his right-handed raw power and his Cape Cod League-leading .511 slugging percentage last summer and believe he profiles well at third base. Those who don't think he's a one-dimensional player who won't hit enough to get to his pop in pro ball.
A potential third-round choice for a team that likes him, Dunand generates his power more with strength than 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.
A below-average runner who doesn't always exhibit a lot of energy on the diamond, Dunand is miscast as a shortstop for the Wolfpack. He lacks range and is an erratic defender, though his soft hands and strong arm should play much better at the hot corner. He'll almost certainly switch to third base as soon as he turns pro.
His development definitely will be interesting to follow. Obviously the Marlins like his skills quite a bit.
The next NC State player off the board figures to be Evan Mendoza, and he should hear his name called on Tuesday when the draft continues with rounds three through 10.