In his professional debut on June 24, Parker Dunshee was charged with three runs in two innings for the Rookie-level Arizona League Athletics.
Three days later, the Oakland right-hander was promoted to the New York-Penn League. He's yet to allow a runner to score there.
"I wasn't as crisp down there with my fastball command," Dunshee said of his lone appearance in Arizona. "I left some pitches out over the plate and they took advantage of it. I was kind of amped up for my first professional outing and I was leaving some stuff up. When I got to Vermont, I focused on getting back down in the zone and driving my pitches down. It's worked pretty well so far."
That's an understatement. Dunshee extended his scoreless streak to 27 1/3 innings by retiring all 10 batters he faced in relief during Class A Short Season Vermont's 6-0 blanking of Batavia on Thursday. The 2017 seventh-round Draft pick struck out five and threw 30 of 43 pitches for strikes en route to his first Minor League win.
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"I have a good mind-set out there and I'm pretty confident right now, attacking hitters with all three pitches," Dunshee said. "Each one of my pitches is feeling pretty good right now and my fastball command has been good as of late."
Dunshee has made nine appearances for the Lake Monsters, posting a 0.62 WHIP and striking out 33 percent of the 98 batters he's faced.
"Attacking hitters and not giving them anything for free is what I've been focusing on each time out and it's seemed to have work pretty well so far," he added.
On a strict innings limit, the right-hander hasn't worked more than four innings in any game, including six starts. Over that time, Dunshee has held opponents to a .124 batting average.
"I don't really hold that much back," the Zionsville, Indiana native said. "I'm pretty confident that I can throw with good intent on every pitch and still be able to get through seven innings as a starter, so I've taken that same approach with Vermont."
Dunshee replaced Wyatt Marks with two outs in the fourth. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound hurler struck out Michael Hernandez to end the frame and rolled through the fifth and sixth on 23 pitches. He finished the outing with two strikeouts and a popout in the seventh.
"I throw a lot of fastballs. That's kind of the pitcher I am. I like to get ahead with the fastball and my off-speed stuff is good to keep guys off balance," the 22-year-old said. "My slider to righties, I'll go to with two strikes, but I like to try and locate a strikeout on the inner half depending on the hitter. Today, I used my changeup a little bit more. I've been working on it and need to continue to work on it, but it was pretty decent."
The Athletics selected Dunshee 201st overall in June after his four-year career at Wake Forest.
"It was kind of bittersweet, because we were on the way home from Gainesville after we just lost to Florida in the Super Regional," noted Dunshee, who posted a 3.20 ERA in 326 1/3 innings with the Demon Deacons. "I was on the back of the bus with all of my teammates and I was following the Draft Tracker. My agent told me to keep an eye on Oakland and they grabbed me in the seventh round. I was really excited about it and it's been a great fit so far."
Less than two months later and Dunshee is heading to his first professional All-Star Game after being chosen to represent the Lake Monsters on Tuesday at Tri-City's Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
After that, the righty figures to pitch in four or five regular-season games with the chance for a season-long shutout. However, that's not the most important thing on his mind.
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"I try not to think about it, but the longer it went on, my teammates would give me a hard time about it and bring it up more and more," Dunshee said. "You need to pitch the same way and not worry about the results. Sometimes I can pitch well and they'll hit some good pitches or some calls won't go our way and that's just baseball. I'm just trying to execute pitches and the results have been good.
"I just want to compete and keep going out there and throw a bunch of strikes and not beat myself. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and we'll see what happens."
Ryan Gridley drove in three runs for Vermont.