Miami Marlins

This baseball legend’s nephew homers against Yankees in Marlins’ spring game

Alex Rodriguez hit 696 home runs during his major league baseball career.

His nephew, Joe Dunand, still hasn’t taken a swing in the majors, but he may have given everyone a glimpse Sunday of what’s to come if he gets there one day.

Facing A-Rod’s former team on Sunday, Dunand belted a solo home run to left field in the eighth inning of the Marlins’ exhibition 8-5 loss to the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

Dunand (6-2, 205 pounds), a 22-year old, right-handed infield prospect rated No. 19 overall in the Marlins’ system by, smacked what appeared to be an 84-mph changeup from former Marlins pitcher Wade LeBlanc and sent it over the left field fence.

Dunand, an alum of Gulliver Prep who later played at N.C. State University, was drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2017 MLB Amateur draft - much to the delight of his famous uncle - and signed to a $1.2 million bonus.

Dunand hit a combined .370 with a home run and five doubles in 27 at-bats at the rookie ball and Class A Advanced levels last year before a finger injury ended his season.

Dunand, who can play shortstop or third base like Rodriguez, showed plenty of power both at the high school and college levels. While playing for Gulliver in 2014, Dunand once set a national record by homering in eight consecutive at-bats at the Horizon National Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. At N.C. State, Dunand hit 18 home runs his senior season.

If his development remains on track, Dunand is projected by MLB Pipeline to be two seasons from making his major-league debut.

Related stories from Miami Herald