Continuing our pre-draft interview series, I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Shawon Dunston, Jr. As one of the nation’s top prep outfielders, Shawon is following in a great family tradition. His father, Shawon Dunston, was a two time All-Star who collected almost 1,600 hits over his career while playing superb defense at shortstop. Shawon: Version 2.0 posseses a very similar skill-set to his father, and although he may not go quite as high in the draft (Version 1.0 went 1st overall in the 1982 MLB Draft), is definitely on many teams’ boards as a potential first or second round selection.
Shawon has had an excellent high school career, playing center field with impressive range, and flashing his talents at the Aflac All-American, Area Code, and Perfect Game showcacses. While a bit raw at the plate, he possesses good gap power, but in the end, his game is all about speed.
- Great bloodlines
- Disciplined hitter for his age; definitely possesses proper leadoff hitter mentality
- Extremely fast on the base paths; should accumulate a lot of steals
- Plus range and ability defensively
- Shows glimpses of good gap power, which could develop further
- Still growing into his frame, so hasn’t hit for any real HR power yet
- Could get a little off-balanced at the plate at times, throwing his hips out on occasion
- Arm strength only average for centerfield
It’s easy to get caught up in his namesake, but Shawon Dunston Jr. is definitely making a case on his own. His maturity, work ethic, and natural, raw ability make him a candidate to be taken in the early rounds of the coming draft. While he’s committed to Vanderbilt, he’s definitely ready for pro ball, and his patience at the plate should enable him to succeed from the start. While he does occasionally fall into a funk offensively, it seems to be a mechanical issue caused by his natural excitement for the game. Nothing that can’t be fixed and, with his obvious dedication to honing his skills, there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to improve. If all breaks right, he could become a plus defensive center-fielder who knows when to take a walk, could hit the occasional homer, and, most importantly, steal a ton of bases.
To read the rest of the article, including the interview, visit The Fantasy Baseball King, http://thefantasybaseballking.com/2011/05/26/the-kings-inner-circle-shawon-dunston-jr-interview/