One day after reports broke that the Milwaukee Brewers were set to hire Pat Murphy, Craig Counsell’s long-time bench coach, as the 20th manager in franchise history, the organization has made a pretty significant trade. With serious concerns about the team’s offense in 2023, general manager Matt Arnold traded two top-30 prospects, infielder Robert Moore and outfield Hendry Mendez, to the Philadelphia Phillies for 26-year old prospect Oliver Dunn.
Adam McCalvy was the first to break the news on social media:
The Brewers have traded two Top 30 prospects (IF Robert Moore and OF Hendry Mendez) to the Phillies for 26-year-old IF Oliver Dunn and added Dunn to the 40-man roster.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 14, 2023
Dunn is not listed among the Phillies’ top 30 prospects, but many see the infielder as a quickly blooming prospect who is not far away from being Major League ready.
What Are the Milwaukee Brewers Getting in Oliver Dunn?
Oliver Dunn is a left-handed hitting infielder who plays second base, third base, and left field. The majority of his playing time in the minors has come at second base. Of course, the Brewers had light-hitting Brice Turang playing second base for most of the year.
After playing 51 career games in the minors for the New York Yankees’ farm system, Dunn (and the rest of Major League Baseball’s prospects) missed out on the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 shutdown. When play resumed in 2021, he hit just .196/.335/.368 with seven home runs and 25 RBI.
Dunn was limited to just 36 games in 2022 due to a hamstring injury, but improved his batting line to .288/.406/.525 with three home runs and 18 RBI.
After being acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies ahead of the 2023 season, Dunn was assigned to Double-A Reading where he hit .271/.396/.506 with 21 home runs and 78 RBI in 119 games. He spent 92 of these games at second base.
Dunn participated in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .343/.455/.616 with two home runs and 11 RBI. He also stole 12 bases, which is incredible considering he played in just 19 games.
Who Has Oliver Dunn Drawn Comparisons to on the Major League Level?
Chuck Moore of Forbes did a nice profile article on Dunn just four days ago. In it, he described Dunn’s ascent in the minors and how he battled back from the shutdown, injuries, and changing his swing.
He also writes about which current and former Major League players Dunn should be compared to when trying to predict what his ceiling will be in the Majors. Of all the players that he mentions, two-time All-Star Jason Kipnis is his best comp:
“Kipnis probably is the best comparison. At 5-11, 190 pounds, the lefty swinger was about the same size as Dunn. Over nine years (2011-19) in Cleveland, the energetic second sacker averaged .261, 14 homers, 15 steals, 66 runs and 59 RBI. Like Dunn, he was an ideal No. 2 hitter and played gritty defense.”
This would certainly be welcome production in the Brewers’ lineup, should he be able to make the transition to the Majors eventually.
As mentioned, Turang played second base for the Brewers for most of 2023, but also has experience at short stop and center field. With Willy Adames potentially on the trading block, Turang could be moved to short stop next season, leaving a vacancy at second base that Dunn could be a candidate to fill.