Dane Dunning
24-Year-Old PitcherRP
Chicago White Sox AA
7-Day IL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 5/1/2020
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Dunning was shut down in late June with a right elbow strain, but was back for instructional league, so he appears to have avoided Tommy John surgery, for now. Prior to the injury, he was cruising in his first taste of Double-A, with a 2.40 FIP, 26.3 K% and a groundball rate just a hair under 50%. That success oversells his stuff to some degree. He has a legitimate four-pitch mix, but lacks a the type of electric arsenal we would typically associate with a pitcher who has struck out more than 10 batters per nine at every full-season stop (which he has done). His low-90s sinker is effective, and his slider can flash plus, but with just fringe-average command, it's the type of repertoire typically found in a No. 4 starter. Already 24 years old and without a significantly high ceiling, Dunning does not need to be universally rostered in dynasty leagues, particularly with last year's elbow injury portending the eventual need for some sort of procedure. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a contract with the Nationals in June of 2016 that includes a $2 million signing bonus. Traded to the White Sox in December of 2016.
Starts throwing
PChicago White Sox  AA
August 26, 2019
Dunning (elbow) has started light throwing out to 45 feet, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports.
Dunning, who underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in March, will continue light throwing for the next two months. The right-hander is hoping to be throwing bullpen sessions by the time spring training arrives in 2020.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The third returning piece for Chicago in the Adam Eaton trade, Dunning was unproven heading into 2017, but he quickly established himself as a future rotation piece. He has a solid four-pitch mix, and could end up with anywhere from three to zero plus pitches. His ability to sequence and locate his offerings allowed him to dominate hitters at High-A. Dunning ranked third in the Carolina League in strikeout rate (26.4 percent) and K-BB (19.4 percent). Double-A should present a valuable challenge, as his repertoire may not lead to the same gaudy strikeout totals against more advanced hitters. Entering his age-23 season, there won't be much margin for error in the minds of dynasty-league owners, as most of his contemporaries are already at Triple-A or knocking on the door of the big leagues. If he continues to command his mid-90s sinking fastball and his slider and curveball continue to miss bats, a future No. 3 starter could quickly come into focus.
On a loaded pitching staff at the University of Florida last season, Dunning got somewhat overlooked, but he showed enough upside for the Nationals to nab him with the 29th overall pick in the draft. A 6-foot-4 right-hander, his success on the mound comes more from the deception inherent in his mechanics and killer changeup than it does from an overpowering fastball, but that arsenal allowed him to make a solid pro debut between the GCL and short-season Low-A. Whether he's able to become a reliable starting pitcher in the majors depends on the development of his breaking pitch, a slurvy offering which at this point lags well behind his low 90s fastball and change, but his college experience out of the bullpen will serve him well if that ends up being his ultimate role. Traded to the White Sox in the Adam Eaton deal, the 21-year-old is still a few years away from being a factor for Chicago, so he's get plenty of time and plenty of chances to work on that breaking pitch before his role is finalized.
More Fantasy News
Undergoes Tommy John
PChicago White Sox  AA
March 18, 2019
Dunning (elbow) underwent Tommy John surgery Monday, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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May need Tommy John surgery
PChicago White Sox  AA
March 13, 2019
Dunning (forearm) will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Monday to determine whether he'll need Tommy John surgery, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
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Shut down for week
PChicago White Sox  AA
February 28, 2019
Dunning (forearm) will not throw for the next 7-to-10 days, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Forearm discomfort
PChicago White Sox  AA
February 26, 2019
Dunning is experiencing forearm discomfort, Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com reports.
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Throwing pain-free
PChicago White Sox  AA
October 2, 2018
Dunning (elbow) is throwing pain-free, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
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