Fans checking out an upcoming Chicago Dogs game may recognize at least one name in the independent team’s batting order. Shawon Dunston Jr., the son of the 18-year MLB veteran, is one of the 24 players listed on the Dogs’ official roster released Thursday.
Dunston, 25, had spent the past six years trying to rise through the minor league ranks after the Cubs selected him in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He never progressed past the Advanced Class A level and left the Cubs’ organization after the 2016 season. The lefty-hitting outfielder spent 2017 with the Giants’ Class A affiliate.
Struggles at the plate plagued Dunston throughout his minor league career. He showed good patience with a .378 on-base percentage and more walks than strikeouts in 49 games at the Short Season Class A level in 2013, but he struggled to hit for contact or power against tougher competition. In 2017 with the Augusta GreenJackets, Dunston batted .241/.301/.329 in 193 plate appearances.
With the possibility of reaching the big leagues looking increasingly unlikely, Dunston is moving over to indy ball in the same city where his father played for a dozen years. The older Dunston was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1982 MLB Draft and made two All-Star teams while playing for the Cubs from 1985-97.