Interview with Shawon Dunston Jr.: Future Cubs Superstar
Sunday November 6, 2011
Jonathan Hacohen: We are proud to welcome to MLB reports: Shawon Dunston Jr., outfield prospect for the Chicago Cubs. Shawon was an 11th round pick for the Cubs this past year. While he was expected to go as high as the 1st round, signability issues centering on his commitment to Vanderbilt allowed him to drop to Chicago. The Cubs were able to get Dunston Jr. to sign on the dotted line before the signing deadline and just like that, Shawon Dunston Jr. was a Chicago Cub. Expected to be the team’s center fielder of the future, Chicago is happy to have yet another Dunston in its system. While Dunston Sr. played shortstop for 18 seasons, Dunston Jr. is starting his own career and legacy in professional baseball. A player with strong tools and reputation in the game, we look forward to watching Shawon Dunston Jr. patrolling the outfield of Wrigley Field in the near future.
Featured on MLB reports, I proudly present my interview with Cubs prospect and 2nd generation Major League Baseball player, Shawon Dunston Jr.:
MLB reports: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?
MLB reports: Which current MLB star do you most admire and why?
MLB reports: Reflecting on your career to-date, what are your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?
Dunston Jr.: Playing in the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic during the summer of my junior year.
MLB reports: Did you fully expect from the start of the draft to sign with the Cubs? When was the final decision made in the process to sign with Chicago? Any disappointment with being drafted in the 11th round or did have to do more with your signability status than anything else?
Dunston Jr.: I was actually surprised they chose me. I thought three teams were going to get me earlier; I talked to the Cubs’ area guys, but didn’t think they were going to choose me. I was going to Vanderbilt right up until the last day of the deadline. It was a tough decision, but my decision came down to the Cubs getting close to my (final dollar) number, getting into the system early and developing now (by playing everyday). On draft day I was mad and no, I don’t think that I am an 11th round type player. My bonus I got says it all (got back-end, 1st round money). My signablity hurt me and also being very committed to Vandy, where I intended to attend. But that is the past and I am ready to get going.
MLB reports: When you first found out you were drafted, what were your reactions? Did those reactions change over time?
Dunston Jr.: It was more of a relief, like: “Finally- I got drafted!” I was still upset though that I did not go higher. Over time my reactions did not change, as looking back I still expected that I should have been drafted higher. But I use my feelings as a motivator go-forward.
MLB reports: What do you consider your greatest baseball skill(s)?
Dunston Jr.: My athleticism. I am very athletic.
MLB reports: What facets of your game do you most wish to improve upon?
Dunston Jr.: All part of my game can be improved. I am just trying to be a better player overall.
MLB reports: How do strikeouts and walks figure into your game? Do you see any of these items changing over time and to what degree?
Dunston Jr.: Yes, I am going to need to take a better approach at the plate. I am confident that will happen. I am young and have time to develop.
MLB reports: Long term what position do you see yourself playing? How do you see defense as part of your overall game?
MLB reports: If you had to look into a crystal ball, when do you see your expected time of arrival in the big leagues and what do you think you need to do most to get there?
Dunston Jr.: I just need to work hard. Through development and time, I will get there soon. I just need some time.
MLB reports: What are your offseason plans? Have the Cubs indicated to you at what level you will likely start 2012 and at which position?
Dunston Jr.: I plan to get bigger, stronger and faster. I am excited to be getting ready for spring training and my first professional season!
MLB reports: What do you do for fun when you are not playing baseball?
Dunston Jr.: I enjoy hanging out with friends and family.
MLB reports: Have you visited Chicago often in your life? Any impressions?
Dunston Jr.: I don’t really remember much from it when my dad played there. The last time I was there was in the 2003 playoffs at the NLDS with my dad.
MLB reports: If you could send out a message to the Cubs fans, what would it be?
Dunston Jr.: I am glad to be a part of this great organization and cannot wait to be playing in Wrigley Field soon!
Thank you again to Shawon Dunston Jr. for taking the time to join us today on MLB reports. We highly encourage our readers to post at the bottom of the article any questions and/or comments that you may have for Shawon. As well, please follow Shawon on Twitter (@SDUNSTONJR)
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
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