Dunston talks son's tenure as Cubs prospect

Dunston talks son's tenure as Cubs prospect

SAN FRANCISCO -- Former Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston is keeping tabs on his son, Shawon Dunston Jr., who was the Cubs' 11th-round pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft.

Dunston Jr. was still playing at extended spring training in Mesa, Ariz., and had yet to be assigned to one of the Cubs' Minor League affiliates. He will most likely play for Class A Boise.

"He's learning a lot," said Dunston Sr., who is on the Giants' coaching staff. "He's learning these guys are good and he's learning these pitchers throw breaking balls in fastball counts. [My son] said, 'The main thing is I'm learning about myself as a player.' I said, 'There it is.'"

That's something Dad can't teach.

"He's eager," Dunston Sr. said. "They're all eager. That's good."

What's funny is that Dunston said his son and all the other Cubs Minor Leaguers are asking the same question a lot of fans ask: Why isn't Anthony Rizzo in the big leagues? Rizzo, Triple-A Iowa's first baseman, leads the Pacific Coast League with 17 home runs, although he has not played since Sunday because of a sore right wrist.

"Every Minor Leaguer in the Cubs organization is rooting for Rizzo," Dunston Sr. said. "They say, 'Why isn't he up? He's got [17] homers?'"

It's another lesson for Dunston Jr. and the other Minor Leaguers to learn. Cubs manager Dale Sveum doesn't have first baseman Bryan LaHair working in the outfield yet to make room.

"The day Rizzo comes here, he's going to play every day," Sveum said on Friday. "Whatever we do, who really knows? There's nothing you can do about moving people around until he gets here."