Acting Like Adam Dunn Is Ryan Howard

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

According to a major-league source, Williams spent the last few days trying desperately to pry Adam Dunn from the grasps of the Washington Nationals, offering up “anyone and anything he has in the minor leagues in a package.” And no one is untouchable, including pitcher Daniel Hudson or infielder Dayan Viciedo.” The problem Kenny is finding out is that [Nats GM Mike] Rizzo is acting like Dunn is Ryan Howard,” the source said.

I suppose that on the surface, this comparison might seem kind of ridiculous. Adam Dunn wasn’t even offered arbitration upon leaving the Diamondbacks and is in the final season of a two-year, $20 million contract. Ryan Howard, on the other hand, has an MVP award and has three more top-five MVP finishes. He has parlayed that into a five-year, 125 million dollar extension, on top of his most recent arbitration award of $19 million. One would certainly think that this kind of disparity in contracts, as well as the reputations that have led to them, would be reflected in the numbers.

On the contrary, however, the numbers support Rizzo’s comparison, particularly in terms of hitting. Given that the White Sox would play Dunn at DH, this would be the primary concern of Kenny Williams. Here’s how Adam Dunn’s career compares to Ryan Howard’s, without park adjustments.

Particularly notable is the stretch from 2007-2010 – the significant stretch for predicting a player’s future, as when you start getting more than four years out, those stats are hardly predictive of what a player can do now. And you’ll notice, that even without park adjustments, that Adam Dunn has been just as good or better than Ryan Howard for four years. The parks aren’t much of a factor for the years that Dunn was with the Reds (LHB HR park factor of 123) or the Diamondbacks (118), but Nationals Park (95) is much harder for lefties to homer than Citizens Bank Park (116). Dunn has a wRC+ advantage this year of 152 to 134, a pretty significant difference – although it is worth noting that it is easier to hit doubles at Nationals Park than it is at Citizens Bank Park, which mitigates much of the difference in parks.

ZiPS projects Dunn and Howard for .400 and .399 wOBAs respectively. Dunn is 10 days older than Ryan Howard. Basically, the only difference in these players is that Dunn is a worse fielder. Yes, Howard is slightly more valuable, but Rizzo isn’t too far off base in this comparison.

However, where Rizzo is completely off base is in his expectation that the return for Dunn should be that of a superstar. The simple fact is that neither Dunn nor Howard are superstars – their positions in particular and their defensive issues (an average defensive 1B has a net defensive value, including position, of -12.5 runs per 150 games, over a win) make them above-average players but well below the elite of the league. Given that Dunn will be a rental, Rizzo is going to have to severely tone down his expectations if he wants to move the slugger before the deadline. Maybe, if Rizzo values Dunn so highly, the Nationals should just give Dunn the four-year, $60 million contract he’s seeking.

Park factors from StatCorner



Print This Post



Jack Moore's work can be seen at VICE Sports and anywhere else you're willing to pay him to write. Buy his e-book.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Breadbaker
Member
Breadbaker
5 years 11 months ago

I must admit when I read the headline, I thought you were writing in Yoda speak.

Lance W
Member
5 years 11 months ago

You’re not alone. I thought the exact same thing.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
5 years 11 months ago

This is the comment I came to leave. I think the proper way to do this in Yoda speak is “Acting like Adam Dunn, is Ryan Howard”, for what it’s worth.

Kev
Guest
Kev
5 years 11 months ago

It would be, “Acting like Adam Dunn, Ryan Howard is” if yoda said it.

Jdub
Guest
Jdub
5 years 11 months ago

“Adam Dunn wasn’t even offered arbitration upon leaving the Nationals and is in the final season of a two year, $20 million contract.”

You mean the Diamondbacks?

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
5 years 11 months ago

Glad you did this. I looked up the same stuff this afternoon after reading that quote. Dunn, for all intents and purposes, IS Ryan Howard w/o the accolades. It may not be that Dunn is underrated, but that Howard is overrated by the media and the public, however.

Oh yeah, there is one major difference between the two. Dunn’s a free agent at the end of the season and Howard has that ridiculous contract.

RoyaleWithCheese
Member
RoyaleWithCheese
5 years 11 months ago

One other big difference (although it really only matters in the NL):

Dunn is an atrocious defender. Howard is merely below average.

Piccamo
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Dunn is atrocious if he’s used out in LF. Based on this year’s (albeit small sample size) numbers, Dunn is also just below average. This could be because he has had a better chance to learn the position (getting regular playing time there) or merely a fluke.

TLB
Guest
TLB
5 years 11 months ago

“Dunn, for all intents and purposes, IS Ryan Howard w/o the accolades.”

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for not saying, “… for all intensive purposes”

Evan
Guest
Evan
5 years 11 months ago

Is tex a superstar?

Steven Ellingson
Member
Steven Ellingson
5 years 11 months ago

Dunn is absolutely more valuable than Howard at this point, especially to an American League team, when you take contract into account. I don’t think any of the smarter GM’s would trade a bag of baseballs for Howard at this point. That contract is too ridiculous.

John
Guest
John
5 years 11 months ago

He is more trade value, yes. He also has a lot more trade value than Mark Teixeira. Does that mean he is a better player than Howard? No.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
5 years 11 months ago

“Does that mean he is a better player than Howard? No.”

Uh, yeah. Obviously.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

Steve, you might be misunderstanding trade value. Also, Ryan Howard is a substantially better player than Dunn, if you care about “defense”

Piccamo
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Not defense at 1B.

Steven Ellingson
Guest
Steven Ellingson
5 years 11 months ago

What? How am I misunderstanding trade value? Ryan Howard is a negative asset at this point. He has no trade value.

Also, yes, it’s pretty obvious that Howard is a better overall player because of his defense. To an American league team, though, it’s not that huge of a gap.

Your Face
Member
5 years 11 months ago

You’re acting like your face is Ryan howard.

scatterbrian
Guest
scatterbrian
5 years 11 months ago

The biggest difference between these two is Howard has had more runners reach base ahead of him than Dunn, leading to more RBIs for Howard.

NBarnes
Guest
NBarnes
5 years 11 months ago

The difference between Adam Dunn and Ryan Howard is Chase Utley.

BX
Guest
BX
5 years 11 months ago

And playing on teams that go to the playoffs and World Series.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
5 years 11 months ago

Barnes and BX…well, they pretty much nailed it.

Mister Delaware
Guest
Mister Delaware
5 years 11 months ago

“The difference between Adam Dunn and Ryan Howard is Chase Utley.”

Perfectly phrased.

hank
Guest
hank
5 years 11 months ago

There are 2 other key differences:
1) Dunn does not have the publicity factor playing for the Phillies vs playing for the Natinals (sic)
2) Dunn does have a platoon split, but he is not doing his best Curtis Granderson impression when hitting against lefty pitchers (36pt career wOBA split vs 106 wOBA split for Howard)

don
Guest
don
5 years 11 months ago

Adam Dunn also has a pretty normal split – .903 OPS with the bases empty and .908 OPS with men on base for his career.

Howard, for his career, has a .885 OPS with the bases empty and a 1.025 OPS with men on base. I don’t know if this is a result of the shift, pitchers not wanting to bounce breaking balls with men on base, Howard being especially effective at hitting bad pitchers, or some combination of the three. It’s possible it’s a fluke but Howard’s over 3000 career PAs at this point so it’s seeming less likely.

TLB
Guest
TLB
5 years 11 months ago

Frankly I would rather have Dunn at 1B. While RBI are the big, easy-to-notice difference, really the most important difference imo is that Dunn gets on base at a much better clip than Howard. Howard’s defense at 1B really isn’t valuable enough (if he’s even tangibly better than Dunn) to make up for that OBP gap imo.

Jon S.
Guest
Jon S.
5 years 11 months ago

I think that Kenny Williams is aware that Howard and Dunn provide similar performance on the field. What I believe he is talking about when he complains Rizzo is acting like Dunn is Howard is that Howard has a huge amount of perceived intangible value to the Philly franchise. All the reasons Amaro signed Howard to an over-market extension (excluding performance because any performance-based justification for that contract is bunk) do not apply to Dunn. Dunn is not the face of his franchise. Dunn does not have the reputation of a superstar. Dunn isn’t his manager’s most favorite-ist person in the whole wide world. Dunn isn’t an important piece on a hugely successful team. Most importantly though, the Nationals fan base doesn’t care about Dunn the way the Philly faithful care about Howard. Adam Dunn just doesn’t have the same intangible value to his franchise that Ryan Howard does. Not that intangibles should count for $25 mil per year anywhere. Geez that contract sucks.

Anyway, what Rizzo is trading is a couple of months of a really good hitter and two draft picks. That’s definitely worth something, but it’s worth a lot less than what Rizzo seems to think it is. He needs to stop pretending that Dunn is a franchise player.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
5 years 11 months ago

“All the reasons Amaro signed Howard to an over-market extension (excluding performance because any performance-based justification for that contract is bunk) do not apply to Dunn.”

One reason you forgot to list is that Ruben Amaro doesn’t have a horrible misconception of the value of Adam Dunn. I’m pretty sure Amaro’s player evaluation skills are shit, see also Ibanez, Raul.

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 11 months ago

In Amaro’s defense, I’m sure that if Adam Dunn was a long-time Phillie instead of Howard, he’d also have gotten a massive extension that vastly overpays him.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 11 months ago

Is that really a defense of Amaro, though?

NEPP
Guest
NEPP
5 years 11 months ago

LOL…probably not.

Method
Guest
Method
5 years 11 months ago

Joe Cowley reports that hes asking for Beckham or Quintin straight up for Dunn.

Considering how injury prone Q is… that might not be a bad idea.

Charlie No Hustle
Guest
Charlie No Hustle
5 years 11 months ago

The Nats should not offer 4 years becuase the last year Dunn will have 10-5 rights at the age of 34 making 15 plus million. If they wish to resign him then they should offer slightly more and only 3 years.

MikeS
Guest
MikeS
5 years 11 months ago

It gets back to “What’s the value of a win?” It depends on the team. If Dunn puts the White Sox over the top and in the conversation for a world championship, it’s OK to overpay. As a White Sox fan, I don’t think he does that. They are still not as good as the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox and probably the Phillies. So no, I don’t want to give up Beckham or Quinten for him although I’m not sure I can count on Quinten. I don’t really want to give up Hudson but I’m not really sold on Viciedo’s ability to play a position other than “batter’s box.” He’s a rental and that decreases his value. you could argue that Howard is overpriced and I’d agree but at least you know he’s going to be around a few years and may put up Jim Thome (not quite) numbers. After all, it’s not my money.

Overall, I think it’s an interesting question. The rental who’s gone in 2011 or the guy who’s overpaid but you can slot in for a few years. What’s worth more. I think I know what this community feels, but I’m not sure I know what the right answer is.

Chad
Guest
Chad
5 years 11 months ago

Considering the propensity for guys coming out of the White Sox farm system to bust, why does Williams or the source think that they can easily pry away good players?

keegs
Member
keegs
5 years 11 months ago

Adam Dunn vs Ryan Howard, 2010

Dunn: 725 Innings
Howard: 791 Innings

Dunn: 1 DPS
Howard: 3 DPS

Dunn: 18 Scoops
Howard: 21 Scoops

Dunn: 14 OOZ
Howard: 19 OOZ

Dunn: .789 RZR
Howard: .714 RZR

Dunn: -0.6 UZR
Howard: -3.2 UZR

This is the first time in his career Dunn has played significant first base while having a full offseason to focus totally on it. Yes, he was a butcher in the OF, but he’s actually been only slightly below average.

How much longer does he have to play like this for us to at least consider three or four more seasons of Dunn in the NL? Pay the man, Rizzo.

Griggs
Guest
Griggs
5 years 11 months ago

Well put keegs! I will be surprised if Dunn goes somewhere as a DH. He is more likely to go to an AL team only because the DH can be used as a back-up. And yeah, why the Nats haven’t already locked him up at a below value price is surprising.

Lintyfresh
Guest
5 years 11 months ago

Amen!

People give Dunn shit about his defense… but for the first time in his life he’s totally focusing on 1B, and he’s become an average fielder there… thus, his value is much higher when he doesn’t have to drag his -12 UZR around with him.

TJ
Guest
TJ
5 years 11 months ago

Yeah, but only one of those guys likes baseball and has a passion for the game.

Jake S
Guest
Jake S
5 years 11 months ago

You forgot to mention that one is a proven winner.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 11 months ago

And only one clogs the bases by walking when he’s not homering.

Git R Dunn
Guest
Git R Dunn
5 years 11 months ago

Kevin S. — What are you trying to say? Dunn is 18th in the NL for BB with 46. Howard has a paltry 28.

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 11 months ago

I was tagging on to the mocking of some unfounded criticisms of Dunn/praises of Howard.

griffstees
Member
5 years 11 months ago

Trading for Dunn is a one year rental, a monster in the middle of your line up, and a possibility to get over the hump and win a ring. What is the most vaulable stat??? World Championships. UZR, wOBA, RBI. BABIP all are great for us fantasy players and the stat guys, but winning it the best stat. Dunn would help you win, no strings. Howard would help you win, but if you look at Philly this year and over the life of his contact, the strings are most def attached.

BobLoblaw
Guest
BobLoblaw
5 years 11 months ago

Well thank you Jack Moore because I’ve thought the same thing every time I read that quote (it’s posted everywhere, and always in mockery of Rizzo.) Of course he’s acting that way; Dunn IS Howard. And Rizzo is only doing with Dunn what Boras is doing with Fielder.

Chops
Guest
Chops
5 years 11 months ago

If I’m Mike Rizzo I should jump at a Adam Dunn-Dayan Viciendo swap

Kevin S.
Member
Kevin S.
5 years 11 months ago

Except… Viciendo isn’t really good.

Joe Morgan
Guest
Joe Morgan
5 years 11 months ago

Ryan Howard is the most underrated player in baseball.

Adam Dunn is too passive and clogs up the bases.

Don’t dare suggest Dunn is anywhere near the player Ryan Howard is.

335668
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

What a lovely day for a 335668! SCK was here

Cheap Laptops uk
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

very nice collection, thanks.

Andrew A. Sailers
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Thank you for this superb article.

ghd consulting
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Hello there, i do believe that we observed an individual been to my own internet site hence my partner and i stumbled on âreturn the particular favorâ. I will be searching for what to increase my own internet site! Perhaps the alright to employ a number of your thinking!!

Garage Door Opener Installation
Guest

I’ve recently started a web site, the information you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

nike vapor vi
Guest
nike vapor vi
5 years 1 month ago

This web website is genuinely a walk-through for all the info you wanted about this and didn???t know who to consult. Glimpse right here, and you???ll definitely discover it.

Patong nightlife
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

I simply wanted to appreciate you once more. I am not sure the things that I might have accomplished without the actual creative ideas shared by you concerning such concern. It truly was a real horrifying issue for me, nevertheless understanding this specialised approach you handled that took me to jump over fulfillment. I am just thankful for the information and thus have high hopes you find out what an amazing job you’re getting into educating the rest thru your web blog. I am certain you have never encountered all of us.

Liebe SMS
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

grandioso oparti mi ilamaglo te quinha ansgres coitamo. pormo te ssamento ssemos nos ciagincia o entemeo delitual niado bien.

Julia at ghd
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

you should seel you chi now.

Chris Douthit System review
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

With the whole thing which appears to be building within this subject material, many of your points of view happen to be fairly radical. On the other hand, I am sorry, because I do not subscribe to your entire theory, all be it refreshing none the less. It appears to us that your remarks are not completely justified and in actuality you are yourself not really wholly certain of your assertion. In any event I did appreciate looking at it.

???????????????
Guest
4 years 9 months ago

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really one thing that I feel I might never understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward in your subsequent put up, I will try to get the dangle of it!

Million Dollar Pips forex
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

Johnyyy
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

It\\\’s great you just read posts just like it! I really like when people are very creative. I\\\’ll be again for sure!

nasze mazury to cud natury
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, many people are hunting around for this information, you could help them greatly.

Cineflex
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

+1

folding carts
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize this. You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

Tomeka Damms
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Good post. I be taught one thing more difficult on different blogs everyday. It’s going to all the time be stimulating to learn content material from other writers and apply just a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content material on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link in your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

Russel Tarkenton
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Good day. What a great post, this post has realy helped me a lot to understand the topic. I’ll wait for the subsequent post from you.

debt management
Guest
4 years 8 months ago

I love your wp design, wherever did you download it from?

Craig Burlaza
Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic.

www.golotube.com
Guest
4 years 3 months ago
wpDiscuz