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  1. His 2010 performance seems to indicate more of a changed approach than changed skills. If he’s swinging more often, he’s almost by definition swinging at more difficult pitchers for him to hit. More swings = more balls in play (of lower relative quality) and more strikeouts. And both of those come at the expense of some PA which would have otherwise ended in walks.

    So while we can observe the effects in multiple areas, I think the best explanation for his changed numbers in 2010 was a shift in his approach, one that he presumably could adjust again if he felt so inclined (or was instructed to). Every manager he’s had has wanted Dunn to be an “RBI guy” when that really isn’t his game. Let him go back to his take and rake days of yore and the production will rebound.

    Comment by Rick — January 5, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  2. think the best explanation for his changed numbers in 2010 was a shift in his approach

    Yeah, in a contract year … in a league where teams are slow to appreciate the walks. Seems reasonable. It’s interesting that Dunn’s 2 lowest seasons are his rookie year and 2010 (contract year). I could understand how he could be trying to “impress with his bat” in both situations.


    What would have been valuable would be to see historical data of NL players going to the AL and becoming DH’s. Rather than speculate that he could suffer from “hitting off the bench”. Let’s see what type of players have and haven’t … maybe there’s some indicators there.


    I don’t see how we, as a community, can preach SSS and then look at Dunn’s 2010 (a contract year no less), and use it to speculate risks (or even have minor concerns) that deviate from his career norms. His seasonal stats make San Diego weather appear erratic.

    I’m not complaining. The information is free. The articles are of good quality. I am appreciative. I’m just expressing a preference.

    Adam Dunn has lost between 1.5 and 3.0 WAR due to fielding each year of his career as an outfielder. No matter how much he slips either due to DH’ing or swinging a little more … it ain’t going to add up to -3 WAR. *grin*

    That is amazing to me, just by switching to DH, Dunn should gain 1 WAR. My guess is that Dunn finds himself busy in between at bats … watching film, hitting off a tee, tracking pitches, scouting pitchers, and playing some first base. If I were the hitting coach, I’d be talking to Dunn and seeing what types of things (baseball drills) he is interested in, and we’d set up some batting, some conditioning, etc for him to do during the game. My guess is Adam Dunn on the bench, going from what I know, is like a big 12yo with nothing to do.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  3. For what it’s worth, the Nats hitting coach, Rick Eckstein, worked with Dunn on upping his aggressiveness at the plate before the 2010 season. His change in approach was definitely intentional.


    Comment by cass — January 5, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

  4. definitely drafting him

    I’m also sold on his power on the south side

    Comment by will — January 5, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

  5. So here’s a fun question… Dunn is just about a lock to get 400 HRs. He’s quite likely to get 500, and probably has an outside shot at 600. If he does get to 600, does he have a shot at the hall or will the voting population have changed enough to keep him out by then?

    Comment by jason461 — January 5, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  6. Dunn’s one of those ever rare guys who actually sees a big dip in his numbers with RISP…especially in batting average and slugging. He’s almost too patient at the plate at times..especially for a cleanup hitter.

    Comment by NEPP — January 5, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

  7. He’s a 21st century version of Dave Kingman, albeit one who walks a bit more: very good HR hitter, but not quite historically great. Which is to say, he’d have to hit a LOT of homeruns (i.e., continue hitting 40+ HR well into his 40s) in order to make a career value case, which I really don’t see him doing.

    Comment by walt526 — January 5, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

  8. I dont think the current voters or future would consider Dunn a HoF…regardless of how many HRs he hits. He just doesn’t have that perception.

    Comment by NEPP — January 5, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

  9. Dunn also played in an extreme hitters park in Cincy and he posted career lows in batting average. His HR’s did not really decline when moving to more of a pitcher’s park in Washington. I don’t see his new park making much of a difference at all. Dunn is what he is, a solid power guy, but little else.

    Comment by DirK — January 5, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

  10. The guy has a .380 career OBP. The guy is certainly more than just power.

    Comment by Brian — January 5, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

  11. The man is a beast. Say what you will, he gets on base and bashes the ball out of the park, not matter where he plays. In Chicago, an easy 40 HR’s, 100+ RBI’s, BB and RUNS. Take it to the bank.

    Comment by diddier — January 6, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  12. Is what park he’s in going to really make that big of a difference? This isn’t Joe Mauer hitting balls five feet past the wall to the opposite field at the Homer Dome. When Dunn connects, its almost always a sure thing. He’s not a long-fly-ball-that-happened-to-go-out kinda guy. So I wouldnt expect his HR rate to be affected much by what park he hits in.

    Comment by bstar — January 6, 2011 @ 5:06 am

  13. “What would have been valuable would be to see historical data of NL players going to the AL and becoming DH’s. Rather than speculate that he could suffer from “hitting off the bench”. Let’s see what type of players have and haven’t … maybe there’s some indicators there.”

    Sounds like a good topic for you to put together in the community blog.

    Comment by chuckb — January 6, 2011 @ 9:36 am

  14. Not sure I’d agree with the OP that pitching in the AL is stronger than the NL, certainly not SP anyway. I may have once been the case, but did you not notice that Greinke and Lee have moved to the NL this offseason? And Halladay the year before?

    Can’t see NL to AL being a negative factor for Dunn.

    Comment by Paul — January 6, 2011 @ 9:57 am

  15. He basically walks and hits for power. Nothing else.

    Comment by NEPP — January 6, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  16. It might affect him only from the standpoint of a good number of unfamiliar pitchers not better ones. Sometimes guys have issues with that. Sometimes it helps them too.

    Comment by NEPP — January 6, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  17. Walking and hitting home runs are detrimental to scoring runs, so yeah I agree he’s pretty useless.

    Comment by A — January 6, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  18. I wouldn’t call him useless. The two things he does do well (walk, hit for power) are very useful).

    ~is well aware of the sarcasm~

    Comment by NEPP — January 6, 2011 @ 11:13 am

  19. That’s like saying Ozzie Smith could play defense and nothing else. Well yeah, but he did it at a historically great level. Such it is with Dunn and his power and patience. Perhaps not quite to the Ozzie Smith extreme, but it’s the same basic argument.

    Comment by Rick — January 6, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  20. People bring up the move to the AL but he’s going to be playing half his games against AL Central teams and outside of Verlander, Liriano, and Scherzer I don’t see any quality starters there(not counting the White Sox of course since he won’t be facing them) so I don’t think it’s going to hurt him as much as some people think.

    Comment by Dwight Schrute — January 6, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  21. Not to be nit-picky, but 72 out of 162 isn’t half.

    That said, considering how pitching-starved KC and CLE are, and how potentially shakey the back ends of DET and MIN’s staffs look, it wouldn’t shock me at all to see Dunn club 20+ homers in divisional games.

    I have no evidence to support this, but Dunn strikes me as the kind of guy that feasts on the average and below-average pitcher and struggles with the upper echelon. If that’s the case, look out…

    Comment by ToddM — January 9, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  22. Oh, and yeah, I know everyone struggles with the best pitchers — that’s why they’re the best pitchers. I meant even more so than usual.

    Comment by ToddM — January 9, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  23. Also, as a reference point, Jim Thome hit 14 homers in only ~175 plate appearances against AL Central teams last year.

    His OPS against the Central was around 1200. Sick stuff.

    Comment by ToddM — January 9, 2011 @ 6:53 am

  24. I agree with bstar, park factor doesn’t mean too much when your HR’s travel as far as Dunn hits them. I don’t have the data but I doubt more than a small handful wouldn’t have gone out no matter the park.

    And as a Tribe fan I will agree Dunn will feast on the central pitching especially with Greinke going NL. I am guessing 42-45 HR, 1 huge season before a gradual decline due to age.

    Comment by BillR — January 22, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

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