2011 draft review: The Dunston duo

Welcome Back Shawon Dunston

Now a special assistant with the Giants, Shawon Dunston Sr. fondly remembered his Cubs days with Vine Line last September. (Photo by Stephen Green)

With the 339th overall pick (11th round) of the 2011 MLB player draft, the Cubs selected Shawon Dunston Jr., an outfielder out of Valley Christian High School in California. Many Cubs fans will instantly recognize the name: He’s the son of the Cubs’ 1982 first-overall pick and one of the organization’s most memorable players of a couple decades ago.

Describing himself as a proud father who broke down after his son’s selection, Dunston told Comcast SportsNet’s Dave Kaplan about his son’s strengths.

“He’s a left-handed hitter, he can run, he knows the strike zone, and I preach patience—which I tried to do for myself but couldn’t,” said Dunston Sr., who made two All-Star appearances in 12 seasons with the Cubs.

“We’re both very good,” he added. “I maybe had a little more talent, but my son is more educated than I am. He just goes out there and plays, and knows what I want is effort.”

Dunston Jr. displayed some of his father’s great athletic ability as a selection to the Aflac All-American Classic this past year. He played opposite of Cubs first-round selection Javier Baez, and on one noteworthy play, Dunston Jr. scored from second on a dropped third strike. Before the first baseman had a chance to catch the throw to complete the strikeout, Dunston Jr. already had rounded third and snuck home. He has credited his quick hands and confidence hitting fastballs to the elder Dunston, who used his fondly remembered rifle arm to throw his son batting practice.

Committed to Vanderbilt, Dunston Jr. and the Cubs have until the Aug. 15 MLB deadline to come to terms on his first professional contract. If so, Cubs fans may one day get to enjoy a Dunston in uniform again.

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