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Justin Dunn Sharpened All Three Of His Pitches

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BEST PLAYER

Shortstop Andres Gimenez spent most of the season at high Class A St. Lucie and reached Double-A Binghamton in late July. He impressed team officials with his savvy as much as his skills.

"He has just got a real good baseball mind—a very good clock in his head,” special assistant J.P. Ricciardi said, "and he plays the game the right way.”

Overall, the 20-year-old Gimenez hit .281/.347/.409 with six home runs and 38 stolen bases. Ricciardi’s expectation is Gimenez will ultimately shift to second base.

"But he can play both,” Ricciardi said. "He has got talent and he’s a very intelligent baseball player. He is going to be a gap-to-gap player with occasional power. A very solid player.”

BEST PITCHER

After a disappointing first full pro season last year, righthander Justin Dunn pitched to a level consistent with expectations by his selection 19th overall in the 2016 draft.

The 22-year-old Dunn started 24 games between St. Lucie and Binghamton and went 8-8, 3.59 with 1.33 WHIP. The Boston College product struck out 156 batters in 135.1 innings.

"He still needs to be finished off a little bit, but he has got all the fastball you need and it’s got life,” Ricciardi said. "The slider is real good, (and he has) a great changeup and is a real good athlete.”

Dunn pitched to a 5.00 ERA in 20 appearances for St. Lucie the previous year.

"He hasn’t been on the mound a lot, so he has done a real good job,” Ricciardi said. "He is heading in the right direction.”

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Baseball Hotbeds: Digging Deeper

Notable baseball talent-producing areas that might be somewhat off the radar.

KEEP AN EYE ON

Catcher Scott Manea’s stock has risen considerably after a strong season at low Class A Columbia. The St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC product signed with the Mets as a nondrafted free agent in 2016.

The 22-year-old Manea hit .261/.368/.432 with 12 homers in 100 games for Columbia.

"He has got a chance to be something,” Ricciardi said. "He has opened up some eyes this year. He has got power and a pretty good idea of what he is doing behind the plate.

"We don’t have a lot of catching. It's an area where we need someone and (while) he didn’t come out of nowhere, he took a step this year."

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