Phillies prospect Oliver Dunn gets AFL recognition, but will he get a roster spot?

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Phillies batting helmets sit on the wall during the MLB game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on September 19, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Oliver Dunn has never been ranked by MLB.com as a top-30 Phillies prospect. He was drafted in the 11th round in 2019 out of Utah. He never quite found his stroke in the minor leagues. He registered just a .653 OPS in 2019 and a .703 OPS in 2021.

Oliver Dunn’s road to a breakout

Dunn started to show signs of hitting ability in 2022 in Double-A. In 29 games, he hit .333 with a 1.006 OPS. He earned a promotion to Triple-A but faced injuries throughout the year.

After joining the Phillies’ organization, Dunn had a breakout season for the Double-A Fightin’ Phils.

He found power he’d never displayed before in the minors, hitting 21 homers. He had just 13 coming into 2023. His slash line was also impressive at .271/.396/.506. He stole 16 bases and displayed a keen eye, walking 82 times in 119 games.

Dunn continued his breakout into the Arizona Fall League where he was named Breakout Player of the Year. He was also named as an AFL All-Star with 3 other Phillies prospects.

In 19 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Dunn led the team in hitting (.343), OBP (.455), and slugging % (616). He went a perfect 12/12 in stolen base attempts and had 4 triples. He did this all while seeing time at 2B, 3B, and SS.

Although he’s 26, he should be ranked as a prospect coming into 2024.

Will the Phillies keep him around?

The Phillies do have a choice to make with Dunn this offseason. If he is not added to the 40-man roster, he will be exposed to the December 7th Rule 5 Draft.

In the coming hours, we’ll see if the Phillies have Dunn in their future plans or not. Although pitchers are taken more often than hitters in the Rule 5 Draft, Dunn could prove interesting for a MLB team. The Phillies currently have 38 men on the 40-man roster.

The deadline to protect players from the draft is Tuesday at 6 PM EST.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire