Scouting Analysis: Michael Dunn

With so much attention given to breaking down prospects piece by piece, looking at their strengths and weakness with great detail, we present Scouting Analysis here at Now, let's take a center field and first base prospect, Michael Dunn, currently playing with the Tampa Yankees.

Signed as a draft and follow prior to this year's draft, Michael Dunn has immediately found himself in versatile role in the Yankee farm system. Playing first base in the Gulf Coast League and center field for the high-A Tampa Yankees, the 20-year has played a big role on offense and defense. Even though his offensive numbers have not come up big as of yet, he shows outstanding potential with the bat and it appears his defense is here to stay.

Strengths At The Plate. Although Michael Dunn may be getting slightly overmatched by advanced competition in the Florida State League at this point, he still shows a lot of promise at the plate. One thing to point to is his short, quick stroke. He has the ability to keep his hands inside the ball at all times and if he can keep his bat head above the ball, he can hit line drives to all parts of the field.

Dunn consistently throws the knob of the bat at the ball, not allowing his swing to get too long. Also, his hands have the potential to be very quick once he learns to trust them. When he's right, he has the ability to keep his hands back and wait on good off-speed pitches.

Liking to take the ball to the opposite field, Dunn keeps his front side closed very well. Physically, Dunn is a strong player with quick, strong hands. This may be one of the reasons that the Yankees have trusted him with such a large promotion to high-A Tampa.

In his stroke, he has very little head movement, batting out of a very simple, compact batting stance. His hands stay quiet until he raises them into position to drive down through the ball. Despite appearing to have power potential, Dunn also seems to handle the bat well.

Weaknesses At The Plate. Despite being a high ceiling type of player, Dunn has quite a bit of work to do offensively. For one, he has the potential to be a power type of hitter, but his swing dictates that he, right now, is looking for singles. Extension will be one of the biggest keys for him.

Right now, he does not extend through the ball despite taking a good bat angle toward the ball. And, much like most other young hitters, Dunn will have trouble with a good breaking ball. His weight seems to drift forward at times, forcing his bat head to drag through the zone. Also, he sometimes drops his hands too quickly on pitches on the inner half.

Defensive Strengths. Well, for one thing, Michael Dunn is certainly versatile. Drafted and signed primarily as a first baseman, the lefty has now found a home in center field as well. But, everywhere he has played, he's shown very strong defense. Early on, he's shown that he gets excellent jumps in the outfield despite very ordinary foot speed on his part.

Also, considering that he is originally a first baseman, he has an average yet accurate throwing arm and he gets rid of the ball quickly on most occasions. At first base, he has excellent reflexes and saves a lot of errors with his soft hands on throws in the dirt.

Defensive Weaknesses. To be honest, he doesn't have many defensive weaknesses at this point. In center field, if he is truly there for the long haul, he'll just need to become a bit for familiar with the position. At times, his routes to fly balls aren't the best, but that can be expected for a highly inexperienced 20-year old outfielder.

Notes. Although the Yankees already like a lot of what Michael Dunn can do, they believe there is a lot of untapped potential in his left-handed stroke. With time, strengthening, and some work on his swing extension, the Yankees may have a power hitting outfielder or first baseman.

What Scouts Look For. For one, they will look for the 20-year old to develop more of a power stroke. They already love his defensive ability and versatility. Plus, his tendency to take the ball to the opposite field will help him along the way. Power and balance in his swing will be the overall key for him. If he can develop his power swing, scouts may find him very intriguing.

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