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Joe Dunand: Marlin on the Rise

The nephew of Alex Rodriguez, Joe Dunand, has the potential to take Miami by storm one day.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In the second round of the 2017 MLB draft, the Miami Marlins selected SS/3B Joe Dunand out of North Carolina State University.

Dunand is the nephew of all-time great, Alex Rodriguez, and his raw power and arm strength have left many comparing him to his superstar uncle.

Despite only being in the Marlins organization for less than a calendar year, Dunand has found a way to make quite a name for himself and get fans wondering how impactful he can be in Miami for years to come.

According to MLB Pipeline, the infielder ranks as Miami’s No. 19 prospect as we inch closer to the start of the 2018 season.

When scouts look at Dunand, the main tool that sticks out is his raw power and the strength that he provides when at the plate. He set a national record in 2014 while playing for Gulliver by hitting a home run in eight consecutive at-bats at the Horizon National Tournament.

While it is still in question whether or not he will be able to hit for contact as well as he progresses, the belief in the Marlins organization is that he will be able to improve.

During his final two seasons at North Carolina State, the 22-year old did make solid contact while also clobbering 18 home runs in his senior year, but if he wants to be successful professionally he will have to find a way to control the zone better and not swing at bad pitches.

While Dunand is currently listed as a shortstop and a third baseman, the belief is that based on his build he is better suited at third base than he is at short. He currently stands at 6’2, while weighing 205 pounds with an arm made for the hot corner.

However, the Marlins have faith in him at shortstop and will most likely bring him up there unless he proves them otherwise.

The infielder only has 27 at-bats so far in Miami’s system split between rookie level and High-A last season where he was able to bat .370 with five doubles and a home run before a season-ending finger injury forced him to call it quits until 2018.

Dunand did receive an invite to Marlins spring training camp in 2018 where he has impressed in his very small sample size. He is 2-for-4 this spring with a home run against the New York Yankees under his belt.

The 22-year old clubbed a solo home run off Yankees pitcher Wade LeBlanc over the left field fence at George M. Steinbrenner field with a swing that reminded many fans of his uncle, Alex Rodriguez.

While Dunand is still about two years away from arriving to the majors, he should have quite the impact when he does if he continues to progress as the Marlins expect him to.