A year ago, Blake Dunn was waiting on the phone to see if he would be drafted by a major league team.
He was one of the best outfielders available when the draft shortened by COVID ended, leaving him without a big league team.
Dunn, a graduate of Saugatuck, returned to Western Michigan for his senior year and waited another year for that call.
That call finally came on Tuesday when Dunn was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 15th round of the MLB draft. He was the 450th pick in this year’s draft.
“It was crazy. It was me, my parents, my girlfriend and my brother. We just looked at the live draft waiting for the call. We just held our breath to hear them talk about the Draft and the injury that year, it was definitely a big sigh of relief, “said Dunn.” It was tough but it all happened for a reason. The key is to recover. I’m really looking forward to working with the Reds. “
Dunn is the fourth Dutch player to be drafted in the past five years – and the fifth to go pro. Hamilton’s Grant Wolfram, originally drafted by the Tigers, opted for college before being re-drafted by the Texas Rangers. Chris Mokma of Holland Christian was drafted by the Miami Marlins and Adam Berghorst of Zeeland was drafted by the Rangers but chose to play football and baseball in Michigan State. Meanwhile, Mike Mokma signed with the Dodgers as an undrafted free agent.
“It’s great. When everyone’s talking about baseball, they’re talking about the South, but Michigan has grown in skill with year-round gaming,” Dunn said. “The ability to maximize people’s potential was great. It’s a great honor to be with the guys who have been drafted and will be drafted even more in the future. I went to Saugatuck, grew up in Saugatuck. I wouldn’t have had a chance in this position if it hadn’t all started in Saugatuck. “
He received a scholarship to Western Michigan and became one of the top players in the Mid-American Conference.
He was honored at all conferences and was the D1Baseball MAC Preseason Player of the Year 2021 after winning the 2020 Rawlings Big Stick Award in the Northwoods League that summer. He was named the second best athlete in college baseball by Baseball American in 2020.
Dunn joins the group of local athletes in the professional ranks, but also joins an organization that has had great success in the past with players with Michigan ties.
Another Western Michigan Bronco, Adam Rosales, was drafted by the Reds in 2005 and played two years at Cincinnati as an infielder and 10 years in the majors.
The 1990 Reds World Series championship team had three of their four University of Michigan infielder – Hall of Famer Barry Larkin on shortstop, Chris Sabo at third base and Hal Morris at first base.
Dunn is looking forward to this g. to join
“I had a practice session with the Reds at the Great American Ballpark before. That was really cool,” said Dunn. “I met a lot of scouts and front office people. The only big thing I’ve ever heard from my dad is the ‘Big Red Machine’. I definitely need to do more research on this now to know as much as possible. “
Dunn will wait and see where he is in the Reds’ system as he is now a member of the organization.
“I’ve spoken to the area scout and it looks like I’m headed to Goodyear, Arizona, to their spring training facility to train and sign the contract … or after training and training at a minor league -Team be placed, “said Dunn. “When the Rookie League teams are gone, the new conscripts have usually gone there. We just have to wait and see.”
But this waiting becomes a lot easier.
– Contact the sports editor Dan D’Addona at Dan.D’[email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DanDAddona and Facebook @Holland Sentinel Sports.