Weight: 160 pounds
Team: Class-A Boise Hawks
Hits for average: Average
Hits for power: Minus
Arm strength: Average
Arm accuracy: Average
Field range: Plus
Defensive versatility: Plus
Deciding to enter into the family business wasn't a difficult decision for Class-A Boise Hawks outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr. Son of two-time all star Shawon Dunston, the 19-year-old joined the Chicago Cubs organization after being selected in the 11th round of the 2011 First-Year Players Draft.
Before signing a contract with the Cubs that included a reported $1.275 million signing bonus, Dunston contemplated attending Vanderbilt University, but ultimately decided to go straight from Valley Christian High School in Freemont, CA to professional baseball.
In addition to being drafted by the same franchise, Dunston Jr. maintains numerous similarities with his famed father, who played for six different major league teams throughout his 18 season career. His slender build and "speedster" mentality on the basepaths gives many minor league baseball fans visions of the ‘80s, when Senior was the one swiping open bases.
With his size, and the nature of his open swing, Dunston Jr. appears to resemble a smaller B.J. Upton when in the batter's box, but lacks the power of the Rays outfielder. Thus far in the 2012 season with the Hawks, Dunston Jr. is hitting .213, with three RBIs and a solo home run. Eight strikeouts prove that the inexperience and wild nature of Dunston Jr.'s swing leave much more to be desired, but with adjustments towards a compact approach, he will have no trouble reaching base with his unparalleled speed.
Defensively, Dunston Jr. shows maturity far beyond his years. His speed and ability to play every outfielding position effectively allow him to play nearly every day for his current short season club.