The St. Louis Cardinals selected infielder Nick Dunn in the 5th round (153rd overall) of the 2018 MLB Draft Tuesday afternoon, making the junior second baseman the first current Terp taken in this year’s draft. Maryland has now had a top-five round pick in each of the last five years.
In just three seasons at Maryland, the Sunbury, Pennsylvania, native started in all 172 games and became the 13th player in program history to reach 200 career hits. Just recently, Dunn was named a Baseball America second team All-American and a first team All-Big Ten recipient.
Dunn came to College Park in 2016 with an optimistic future for obvious reasons. A Louisville Slugger preseason All-American honorable mention, he finished his senior year of high school with a .477 batting average without a single strikeout. Dunn immediately fit right into the program, hitting .300 during his freshman season. He led the team in hits (68), doubles (16) and on-base percentage (.382). He was later named a freshman All-American.
Dunn began to increase his power as a sophomore, jumping his home run total from just one to five the following year. While his batting average decreased, he continued to get on base and put the ball in play. He walked more than he struck out, helping lead Maryland to Big Ten and NCAA Tournament berths in 2017. Dunn was impressive last summer, earning playoff co-MVP honors with the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He returned to Maryland with a .333 season average, an All-Star selection and a championship in one of the most prestigious collegiate summer leagues in the country.
Success against the nation’s top talent followed Dunn back to College Park, leading the Terps in nearly every statistical offensive category this past season as a junior. He attained career-bests in hits (70), doubles (17), home runs (10) and RBIs (39) with a .330/.419/.561 slash line. He was the most consistent player for Maryland the entire season as the team’s primary two-hitter.
Dunn has become the toughest out in Maryland’s lineup, walking 85 times with just 67 strikeouts in three years. He developed power while increasing his batting average this past season, hitting more than half of his career homers in 2018. Currently holding a .295 career batting average, Dunn is one of 16 Maryland All-Americans and has the ninth-most doubles (46) in program history.