Real family affair for Sox prospect D. Dunning

Right-hander gaining valuable advice from older brother Jake

Real family affair for Sox prospect D. Dunning

KANSAS CITY -- Dane Dunning features a not-so-secret weapon as part of the development for the right-hander, who is ranked as the No. 10 prospect for the White Sox by It's his older brother, Jake, currently pitching for Double-A Birmingham.

"That's actually unbelievable. I've never been on the same team as my brother, ever," Dane said during a conference call on Thursday featuring the White Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month in Dunning and Player of the Month in Yoan Moncada.

"It's a very humbling experience for me, at least, because my brother's got so much time in the Minors and Majors that I'm able to pick his brain. He's been on both sides so he's able to teach me a bunch. And to be able to have my brother able to teach me all that, it's a -- I'm trying to think of the word -- it's an advantage. A big-time advantage."

Dunning came over to the White Sox as part of the three-player return in the Adam Eaton trade, and the Nationals' top pick from the 2016 Draft has thrived in his first year with the organization. The right-hander featured a 0.35 ERA and 33 strikeouts against two walks over 26 innings for Class A Kannapolis before being promoted to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

In one start for the Dash, Dunning pitched five scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

"Batters are a little bit more patient. They see the ball a little bit better," he said of the increase in competition. "They recognize balls out of the zone and on the corners and stuff like that.

"Some of them can see spin a little bit better than others. Other than that, patient is probably the best word to use. They're more patient. They attack stuff they want to attack."

Moncada, the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball per, is hitting .330 with five homers, 19 runs scored and six stolen bases for Triple-A Charlotte.

"I've been working hard, a lot, in practice, in the cages, just to try to have the same approach and the same focus on both sides of home plate," the switch-hitter said through interpreter Billy Russo. "The results are there."

"His development is by no means complete at the Minor League level," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "But he certainly is making a great deal of progress and we're thrilled with where he's at."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.