The Nationals have agreed to a deal with 29th overall draft pick Dane Dunning, according to a person familiar with the situation. Dunning was Washington’s second first-round selection and only player it chose in the first 10 rounds who was not yet under contract. Dunning’s Florida Gators ended their season in the College World Series last week, and as he suggested he would after being drafted, Dunning signed quickly.
The 29th pick carried a slot value of $2,034,600. Dunning’s deal is worth $2,000,000, according to the source. The Nationals gave the same amount to 28th overall choice Carter Kieboom — a high school shortstop — when they signed him in the days after the draft.
Dunning was not the star of his Florida pitching staff, but showed strong control and a low-to-mid 90s fastball he described as having plenty of late life. He split time between the bullpen and rotation for the loaded Gators, for whom he made 33 appearances and pitched to a 2.29 ERA this season. The Nationals will train him as a starter.
Many of Dunning’s fellow 2016 draftees are already in action. First-round choice Carter Kieboom, eighth-rounder A.J. Bogucki and several others are currently listed on the Gulf Coast Nationals roster. Third-rounder Sheldon Neuse, fourth-rounder Nick Banks, fifth-rounder Daniel Johnson and sixth-rounder Tres Barrera are playing for short-season Auburn, among others. MLB.com first reported news of Dunning’s signing.