Last June, the Oakland Athletics drafted right-hander Parker Dunshee in the seventh round out of Wake Forest University. He had a bad outing in the Arizona League, but has since been tough to figure out in the New-York Penn League for the Vermont Lake Monsters.
In 38.1 innings as a starter and reliever for the Lake Monsters, Dunshee has yet to allow a run, has struck out 45 batters, and walked eight. Out of the 15 hits that he’s allowed, only one of them has gone for extra bases (Rafelin Lorenzo doubled for Hudson Valley on July 9).
While with the Lake Monsters, Dunshee hasn’t thrown more than 60 pitches in an outing, but he’s been efficient with his pitches. He has struck out five or more batters in five of his 12 outings (six batters twice) and two of those came as a reliever.
Of course, Dunshee is used to facing tough competition from his time in the ACC. Last week, he got the chance to face the Rays first round pick in last year’s draft, Brendan McKay. As you will see on the video, Dunshee got the better end of that battle.
So, what has been the key to Dunshee’s excellent season so far? I spoke with George Commo, who is the play-by-play announcer of the Lake Monsters, to get his thoughts. Here’s what he said about what’s been the most impressive aspect of his game
“Probably the biggest thing is self confidence. He just seems to know he is going to succeed,” said Commo.
At Wake Forest, Dunshee was one of the best pitchers in the ACC. In his senior season, he went 9-1 with a 3.91 ERA in 17 starts. His 111 strikeouts were tied for the fifth most in the conference and he helped the Demon Deacons reach the Super Regional, where the Demon Deacons eventually lost to Florida.
It should come as no surprise that Dunshee hasn’t gone more than five innings in a game yet. After a long college season, you normally don’t see pitchers throw that many innings in the Short-Season New York-Penn League because it’s more about developing arms for the long term.
Dunshee’s success has helped the Lake Monsters inch closer to clinching a postseason berth for the first time since 2011. They are on the verge of clinching the Stedler division and still have a chance to finish with the best record in the league.
So, while a lot of the attention around A’s pitching prospects is about A.J. Puk and Jesus Luzardo (also in Vermont), keep an eye on what Dunshee does going forward.