Locals In MLB: Former Ute Leading Trio Of Locals In Big Leagues

Apr 8, 2024, 12:24 PM

former ute oliver dunn...

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: Oliver Dunn #15 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits an RBI single against the New York Mets during the fifth inning at Citi Field on March 31, 2024 in New York City.

SALT LAKE CITY – Opening Day is in the rearview mirror, and a long, grueling season of Major League Baseball is underway as 30 teams chase an elusive World Series championship.

After making an Opening Day roster for the first time in his young career, Oliver Dunn has been turning heads and getting a good-natured dose of the silent treatment in his first taste of big-league baseball.

Utah Utes (2)

Oliver Dunn | 2B

MLB  – (Milwaukee Brewers)

After never playing above Double-A previously, Dunn hit .282 (11-39) with five extra-base hits, ten RBI, and five stolen bases during the spring to make the Brewers Opening Day roster. The 26-year-old has satisfied with his first opportunity in the big leagues. Dunn has made highlight plays in the field and collected his first MLB home run while making five starts at third base for the 6-2 Brewers.

The 5’10 lefthanded hitter played 155 games for the University of Utah (2017-19), hitting .312 with seven home runs and 78 RBI. As a junior, Dunn hit .366 and reached base in nearly half of his plate appearances.

RELATED: Former Ute Oliver Dunn Has Memorable MLB Debut With Brewers

The New York Yankees selected Dunn in the 11th round of the 2019 MLB draft. Dunn spent 2023 with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He appeared in 119 games at Double-A Reading last season, slashing .271/.396/.506 while hitting 21 home runs.

2024 Stats: .318 BA | 7 Hits | HR | 4 RBI | 2 SB | 7 Ks | 2 BB

2023 Stats: .271 BA | 113 Hits | 21 HR | 78 RBI | 16 SB | 139 K | 82 BB

Tanner Banks | Pitcher | Salt Lake Bruins

MLB – (Chicago White Sox)

One of four pitchers in the White Sox organization that hail from Utah, Banks was the only one of the quartet to make the southsider’s Opening Day roster. Banks has made two appearances in his third MLB season, striking out three batters while not allowing a run.

The Riverton High School product played two seasons (2011-12) under D.G. Nelson at Salt Lake Community College before finishing his collegiate career across the valley with the Utes.

Banks was 4-12 in 29 appearances for the Utes, including 19 starts. He struck out 70 against 31 walks in 113 innings, ending his amateur career with a 5.18 ERA. The Chicago White Sox selected the 6’1 lefthander in the 18th round of the 2014 draft.

Banks made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2022.

2024 Stats: 2 G | 2 IP | 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 3 K | BB | 1.00 WHIP

Career Stats: 2 Yrs | 67 Games | 3-4 | 3.79 ERA | 114 IP | 51 K | 34 BB | 1.23 WHIP

BYU Cougars (1)

Michael Rucker | Pitcher

MLB – Philadelphia Phillies

After an early February trade sent Rucker from the Chicago Cubs to the Philadelphia Phillies, the 29-year-old righthander was placed in the 15-day IL with what the team is calling ‘right-hand arterial vasospasms.’

Per a CBS Sports report, Rucker hadn’t made a spring training appearance since March 1 as he dealt with numbness in his right middle finger.

Rucker spent two seasons in Cougar blue, finishing with a 16-2 record in 29 appearances (22 starts). After going 11-1 in 102.1 innings with a 2.73 ERA as a junior, the Chicago Cubs selected Rucker in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB draft.

RELATED: Former BYU Hurler Trading Cubs Pinstripes For Phillies Phanatics

2024 Stats: N/A

Career Stats: 3 Yrs | 96 appearances | 5-2 | 4.91 ERA | 123.1 IP | 120 Ks | 50 BB | 1.39 WHIP

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies, Locals in MLB, and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s Bees, Beehive baseball, and Aggie athletics coverage here.

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Locals In MLB: Former Ute Leading Trio Of Locals In Big Leagues