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  • Milwaukee Brewers Acquire Oliver Dunn from the Phillies


    Jake McKibbin

    Oliver Dunn is a breakout left-handed bat from the Phillies, playing second base and hitting .271 with 21 home runs, acquired in exchange for outfielder Hendry Mendez and infielder Robert Moore.

    Image courtesy of © Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

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    Oliver Dunn is coming off a season in which he has just won the breakthrough player award for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, off the back of a year in which he slashed .271/.396/.506 for the Phillies Double-A affiliate. A patient bat results in a 27.5% strikeout rate, which will need to improve, but he's a high-end lottery ticket with a bat that could take off.

    Robert Moore and Hendry Mendez struggled in 2023, Moore with both bat and glove and Mendez regarding his power. Mendez is just 20 and could still grow into his potential, but the Brewers will feel they've gotten the better end of this transaction.

    The Brewers got into this deal due to the impending deadline for the Rule 5 draft, and the Phillies expected to lose Dunn at that point anyway, so both sides will be happy with what they've obtained. 

    Dunn's profile has developed massively. However, it's important to note that at 25, he was old for Double-A and playing in a hitter-friendly park in Philadelphia. Keith Law, upon seeing him in the AFL, said, "All I saw Dunn do was hit, run, and work the count."  He's competent at second base, with a smattering of time at third base, shortstop, and left field since turning professional, on top of being an above-average runner. His contact issues are concerning, and it remains to be seen if the Brewers see something they can work on in this area. He has power and a good eye at the plate with solid defensive chops. There's a lot to like here.

    On the other side of the coin, shortstop Robert Moore, the 72nd pick in 2022 with smooth fielding actions, never quite loved up to his potential in a Brewers uniform, albeit there is undeniable talent there. For someone of his speed, he is caught on the basepaths a little too often and recorded a .682 OPS in 123 games at High A Wisconsin, showing flashes of excellence with the glove but just not making the type of contact he or the Brewers hoped for.

    Mendez has potential, too, but he is another player the Brewers may have been hoping for more from by age 20. Currently playing in the winter leagues, Mendez got off to a hot start with the Brewers in the DSL but hasn't had an OPS over .700 since he came stateside in 2022. There would have been hope for him to progress on his five home runs as a 19-year-old in 2022, but he regressed in the power department. It's possible the Brewers saw both of these prospects struggling in double-A next year and figured they could get a long shot at a position where they would love a competent bat.

    We at Brewer Fanatic wish them all the best in their future careers and are incredibly excited to see what Oliver Dunn can do in Nashville and maybe Milwaukee next season.

    Law also said of Dunn at the Phillies: "I think they've got a big leaguer."

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    They dealt from a position of strength/depth in the organization here. I particularly expect Moore to improve at the plate in '24 & have a real shot at being a contributor in the bigs. But the deal makes sense to me.

    Looking forward to reading comments in the other thread from some of the BF minor-league gurus on Dunn. Outside of the numbers mentioned above, don't know much about him.

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    Jake McKibbin
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  • Posted

    14 hours ago, Jim French Stepstool said:

    They dealt from a position of strength/depth in the organization here. I particularly expect Moore to improve at the plate in '24 & have a real shot at being a contributor in the bigs. But the deal makes sense to me.

    Looking forward to reading comments in the other thread from some of the BF minor-league gurus on Dunn. Outside of the numbers mentioned above, don't know much about him.

    I feel the same way, I'm unsure if Mendez or Moore would make the big leagues, but they both have undeniable talent in there. Dunn does seem more big league ready at a level it's tough to see Mendez or Moore dominating next season.

     

    Dunn had his first full season in the minors last year and has shown burgeoning power coupled with a stroke to all fields, and quality defense (if not Turang level) at second base. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see him kick on in Triple A and force an opportunity this year, but those strikeouts have to come down. Would be interesting to know if there were any specific pitches/strike zone areas he struggles with but I couldn't find any data on that unfortunately

     

    EDIT: Seems he has a particular issue with fastballs up and away from him. Apparently also has above average opposite field power, but also some varying reports now about the quality of his defensive acumen

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