When the White Sox traded Adam Eaton to Washington, they got three pitchers back, two of which we have already seen. Lucas Giolito, who was the highest rated prospect they received back, has already pitched 240 major league innings. Reynaldo Lopez, who seems to be the better of the two has pitched 280 major league innings. They also received a right handed pitching prospect, Dane Dunning. Dane was drafted in the first round by the Nationals in 2016 after pitching at pitcher hotbed University of Florida. After being drafted he split the season between rookie ball and short season A ball where he posted a combined 3–2 record and 2.02 ERA in eight games between both teams.
Then on December 7th he was traded to the White Sox and in 2017 he was assigned to the single A Kannapolis Intimidators. After only 4 starts in Kannapolis and a 16.5 strikeout to walk ratio he was promoted to advanced A Winston Salem. That year in total Dunning made 26 starts and pitched 140 innings, where he struck out 168 batters while only walking 38, and had only a 1.14 WHIP. In 2018, he started the year in Winston-Salem posting a 2.59 ERA in four starts pitching 24.1 innings. He then earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham. In 11 starts, he posted a 2.76 ERA. However, he struggled getting the ball over the plate allowing 23 walks in 62 innings, but gave up no home runs on that level. Dane was shut down early last season after a shoulder sprain in late June.
Dane should start 2019 with AAA Charlotte and probably follows the same path as other pitchers with an August call up, especially if he proves himself to be a starter all season. Dane has a plus fastball. It is not blazing speed that makes it a plus pitch with velocity that sits 91 – 94, getting as high as 96. It is the sinking motion of the pitch. That sinking action allowed him to have a 1.7 ground ball to fly ball ratio in his first two pro seasons, having above average control to boot. His secondary pitches are a slider and a changeup. Both pitches will be heavily featured in AAA 2019, ala Michael Kopech working on his changeup and curveball all last season on the same team. If he proves he can consistently throw those for strikes and generate swings and misses he should be making his debut in Chicago late in the season.
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