Braves: Meet Justin Dean — the man behind last night’s incredible throw

Vaughn Grissom call up

Justin Dean replaced Ronald Acuna in the sixth inning of last night’s Stripers game. At that point, I’m sure a lot of fans stopped watching, but if you did, you missed an early candidate for play of the year. 

Dean’s perfect strike to third base from the corner outfield was one of the best throws you’ll ever see, so let’s talk about the young man. 


Justin Dean played for the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears in Division 2, where he showcased his contact and speed skills. In three seasons, Dean slashed .367/.467/.532 and stole 34 bases. He may not have a ton of power, but the 5’8″ outfielder thrives with his defense and speed, which is why the Braves drafted him in the 17th round in 2018.


Through four seasons in the minors, Dean has slashed .267/.369/.399 and stolen 95 bags. While the average may look low, the 25-year-old compensates for it with plate discipline. It’s worth noting that he also had stints in the Mexican Winter league where he’s hit for a .307 average.

Dean has steadily risen up the minor league ranks despite not blowing anyone away at the plate, reaching AAA this season. He’s been overlooked due to names like Pache, Waters, and Harris, but is one of the more underrated prospects in the system.


If you’re looking for superstar potential, Dean isn’t your guy. He doesn’t possess a lot of pop in his bat and his game is anything but sexy. But he will consistently produce quality at-bats and probably steal quite a few bases while playing spectacular defense. Will he ever start in Atlanta? That’s highly doubtful, but there’s a chance he eventually carves out a nice career for himself as a reserve outfielder, which is nothing to scoff at. 

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