Blake Dunn entered the 2023 season having played in just 38 games – including rehab games – in his professional career despite having been drafted in 2021. Injuries had kept him off of the field and from finding any sort of consistent playing time. He had performed well when he was on the field, but he simply couldn’t stay on the field.

This season has seen Dunn stay healthy and he’s kept on performing. The season started for the outfielder in Dayton where he started out hot and played in 47 games in the Midwest League, hitting .276/.411/.460 with 19 stolen bases in 22 attempts. That was enough for the Reds staff to say that they had seen enough and promote him up to Double-A Chattanooga.

Dunn started out 1-12 for the Lookouts in his first three games. He then ran off an 11-game hitting streak and he hasn’t looked back. Last night while in Birmingham in the series opener he went 4-5 with a triple, home run, and two stolen bases. He led the game off with a home run, then tripled. After showing off the power, he laid down a bunt for his third hit on the night before capping things off with a line drive single up the middle.

While Blake Dunn had a good run with High-A Dayton, he’s taken it to another level while in Double-A Chattanooga. Following his 4-hit night on Tuesday, Dunn is now hitting .349/.427/.504 in the Southern League through 32 games. He’s also now stolen 18 bases in 19 tries. That makes him 37-for-41 on the season. In his career he’s now 62-for-67 in 127 games.

Between his two stops this season, Dunn has played 79 games and is hitting .308/.418/.480. That’s come with 10 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 35 walks, and 80 strikeouts in 353 plate appearances.

Catching up with the draft

There is less than one week before the signing deadline for the 2023 Major League Baseball draft.

Cincinnati has signed 15 of their first 17 draft picks. 4th round pick Cole Schoenwetter and 14th rounder Kyle Henley have not signed. The Reds have also not signed any of their picks between the 17th and 20th rounds.

With just one unsigned player in the top 10 rounds, the club is $815,900 under their pool amount. In theory that would leave them with $1,456,200 to spend to sign Schoenwetter and not face any sort of penalties. Of course they could spend less than that, and use any additional money to try and entice someone beyond the 10th round to sign. Anything spent beyond $150,000 on a player beyond round 10 counts towards the bonus pool allotment.

If you want to keep track of the signings, bonuses, and all of that – check out the Cincinnati Reds Draft Tracker right here.


21 Responses

  1. Optimist

    Thanks Doug for continuing coverage on the draft.

    I see that the slot values for 40th, 50th and 100th picks are roughly 2.1m, 1.7, and 670k respectively. IIRC Schoenwetter was projected between 40 and 50, and Gaeckle at about 100, so as others have noted it seems the Reds $$$$ pot is left to get one of these, as intended, well over their draft slot number – preferably Schoenwetter, but Gaeckle if needed.

    Have to believe they’ll get the remaining college players, and perhaps a few more UDFAs.

    • Stock

      They have 2.1 million to spend on Schoenwetter. But I am holding out hope he signs for about $1.7 Million and Gaeckle signs for about $595,000. That would improve on a very good draft.

      • Optimist

        Yes – the Gaeckle pick is intriguing, both as the backup to Schoenwetter, and as a speculative reach – likely would take them in to penalty territory, but also likely it would be worth it to have a fully stocked MiLB rotation at all levels.

      • Colorado Red

        Penalty is OK, as long as it does not cost them a pick next year.
        Spend all of it like last year.

  2. Bubba Woo

    Dunn would seem to be the type of prospect that the Reds would be willing to throw into a deadline trade for pitching, someone who will probably be ready to make the Majors in 2024, but who’ll be blocked by the logjam of Outfielders the Reds currently have for 2024: Friedl, Benson, Fraley, Steer, Senzel, etc.

    • Cincy Sammy

      Id rather throw Allen II in a trade than Dunn.

    • Philly Red

      Fraley is a strong side platoon guy who’s going to be arb eligible. Senzel is a short side platoon guy, Benson hasn’t done it on any kind of meaningful sample size. Dunn shouldn’t be blocked by anyone. If he can play, he has opportunity.

    • Hanawi

      Reds need more OFs that can play everyday. Senzel has no future and Fraley is purely a platoon. Jury is still out on Benson. Friedl has probably shown enough, but I want to see him finish the year strong. Depending on what they do with the IF logjam, Steer is capable of playing 3b, 1b or being the DH.

      I’d rather see them trade someone like Hopkins, who should still have good value, but probably isn’t a CF long-term.

    • Matt McWax

      He looks so much like a cross of Friedl and Fraley. His stolen base numbers are pretty shocking (equivalent of 80 in a 162 game season, and only 7 CS over same). Very little video of him – anyone have comments on him at the plate beyond the box score?

  3. DaveCT

    Wrote this the other day. Being old, I couldn’t remember any of my reasoning so I’m just cutting and pasting some of it here.

    BA had Schoenweeter projected as high as the 2nd round (v. 1st round), given stamina and control issues. That would have had him at a slot of $1,998,200. A 3rd round selection would have had him at 975,100. As Stafura fell a bit, so did Schoenwetter.

    For negotiations, with the 2nd round slot of 1,998,200, and the 3rd round slot of 975,100, splitting the difference between rounds 2 and 3 comes to 1,486,650.

    The current underslot savings we have to tack on to Schoenwetter’s slot of 640,300 is 815,900, for a total of 1,456,200.

    Further, 5% of the 4th round slot of 640,300 is 32,015, or just about the difference between 1,456,200 and the split-the-dif mark of 1486,650.

    It’s encouraging to see the club playing 3D chess rather than Uno.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    I’m waiting for Blake Dunn to reach triple-A and if he really continues hitting as did so far we should be counting on him as a likely Reds backup OF by 2024 especially if he can carry this batting level to the big leagues. Said this, it also possible to consider him as a good trade piece to get a #2 or #3 starter at the trade deadline….
    Cole Shoenwetter looks like a very tough signing since he’s not signed yet. When Gabe Gaeckle was drafted at round 20 the comments were he will be hard to sign unless a good money were available to spend.
    I’m a little surprised of Kyle Henley still is unsigned but I understand his HS status and he is an intriguing prospect…

  5. Coooop

    Is he “Dunn” as an OF headed to AFL end of this MiLB season? Since AFL is supposedly between AA & AAA, might be a great training for him to see the best young pitching every at bat!
    IF: Maybe Arroyo too since Marte went there last year after A+, might not be pushing him too hard.
    Catchers: Maybe AA Trautwein?
    Pitchers. Maybe Lowder and Floyd too? anyone else they need to see how well they perform before making Rule 5 draft decisions thia winter?
    Bet Doug will put this in its own thread when the time is closer maybe in August, before the Reds make their AFL roster announcement.

  6. MBS

    Dunn is doing his best to replicate last night, HR in the 1st, followed by another triple.

  7. Luke J

    Dunn will be 25 before the season is over. Get him to AAA now! What are they doing letting him absolutely destroy AA where most players are significantly younger than him? I get that he hasn’t played much so they wanted to start him at lower levels to see where he is and let him develop at each level, but it’s abundantly clear his level is above AA already, so no reason to have him languish down there anymore. At his age, he needs to be fast tracked until he reaches a level he isn’t dominating.

    • Optimist

      TBF he is being fast tracked – COVID lag and the odd injuries have limited him to extremely small sample sizes. If he gets in Sept. in AAA with 100-150 PAs then he’s all set for the spring. Get him close to 1,000 PAs in MiLB and he’s set for MLB debut after the ASG next year.

    • Kevin Tringali

      And another 5/5 day today (7/23) with 2 rope doubles, a beautiful bunt, a beat it out single and muscled out an inside pitch to the grass. In addition another walk and SB (19/1). The kid is 5 tool without a doubt.