Oliver Dunn, Utah baseball vs. Gonzaga March 12, 2019 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

 

Although the baseball season ended a few weeks ago, there is still time to celebrate as the Major League Baseball draft wrapped up on Wednesday, June 5.

The draft consisted of three days of teams choosing new players to add to their rosters. From the state of Utah, 40 players put their names into the draft. Among those names was Oliver Dunn.

Dunn just wrapped up his junior season at the University of Utah where he excelled on the baseball diamond. When the season ended, he made the choice to declare for the draft. On day three, his hard work paid off when he heard his name called in the 11th round by the New York Yankees.

Dunn was the 345th overall pick in the draft, and he is the second Utah player to be drafted by the Yankees, with Steve Rudanovich in 1965 being the first.

Dunn joins seven other baseball players from the state of Utah who were among the drafted this week. On day two of the draft, BYU’s Jackson Cluff was drafted in the sixth round by the Washington Nationals.

Following Dunn, on day three, four other players heard their names. Porter Hodge, a Utah commit from Cottonwood High School went to the Chicago Cubs and he was joined by fellow committed player Kayle Yates of Dixie High School who went to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cy Nielsen, also a high school student from Spanish Fork, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. Nielsen is currently committed to BYU for the upcoming school year.

Two other college players were drafted, Paxton Schultz of Utah Valley University who went to the Milwaukee Brewers, and Jayden Murray, a Dixie State University pitcher who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays.

This year marks the eighth straight year that at least one Utah player has been drafted.  After the 2018 season, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. was drafted in the fourth round by the Minnesota Twins, a 124 overall draft pick.

In addition to being selected by the Yankees, Dunn had a very strong year with Utah. After the conference play finished up, he was named to the All-Conference team. He is only the ninth player in Utah history to receive an All-Conference selection.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Oliver,” head coach Bill Kinneberg said to Utah Athletics. “He had such a good year offensively and defensively for us on the field. I’m proud of the way he came to the ballpark every single day and played the game correctly.”

Once the season ended, Dunn was also named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. He is the fourth player in Utah history to receive this honor, following Dallas Carroll (2017 third team), C.J. Cron (2010, 2011 first team) and Ryan Khoury (2006 first team).

On top of starting in each of Utah’s 49 games in the 2019 season, Dunn also led the team with a .366 batting average, 1.017 on-base percentage, 45 runs as well as 71 hits. He also had the most doubles and triples on the team. Overall, he led the team in 11 different categories offensively and he also had 28 RBI’s.

Dunn made only six errors at second base and he was almost perfect in the field with a .972 fielding percentage.

In his three years as a Ute, Dunn saw playing time in 153 of the 155 total games.

Off of the field, Dunn received an All-Academic honorable mention from the Pac-12 for his hard work as a student-athlete. As a sociology major, Dunn earned a 3.20 GPA for the year.

c.overfield@dailyutahchronicle.com

@CaseyOverfield

Casey Overfield
Casey Overfield is in her second year at the University of Utah. This is her second year as a sports writer for the Chronicle, where she is the assistant editor for the sports desk. Casey is also a member of the Pride of Utah marching band, and hopes to be a sports writer after graduation.

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