In an effort to spruce up their offense, the Athletics acquired Adam Dunn on Sunday. He should slot in as the team’s regular designated hitter against right-handers and hit in the clean-up spot in his Oakland debut. We have just a month left of the season so small sample size shenanigans tack precedence, but let’s take a gander how Dunn is affected by the change in home park.
|Team||Basic||1B as L||2B as L||3B as L||HR as L||SO||BB|
We all know that U.S. Cellular Field is one of the better hitter parks in baseball. It’s tied for third in runs park factor, narrowly beaten by The Ballpark in Arlington and handily beaten by the best hitter’s park still, Coors Field. So Dunn was enjoying playing half his games at The Cell. On the other hand, Oakland Coliseum ranks toward the bottom in runs park factor. But the individual components are perhaps more important to consider when evaluating Dunn’s fantasy prospects with the A’s. You’re playing him for his power, so the home run park factors are really all you’re concerned about.
Although it has played as a better home run park for right-handers than lefties, The Cell still sports a park factor that ties for eighth highest in the league. Unfortunately for Dunn owners, Oakland ranks nearly at the bottom, with only two other parks worse for left-handed power. It is true that park factors affect every hitter differently and I recall a study done in recent years on how different types of power hitters are affected. If I recall correctly, the elite power hitters are affected less by the park than the lower tier power guys. But still, Dunn is going to hit his share of warning track shots just like any other hitter, some of which may have gone out if hit at The Cell, but stay in the park in Oakland.
Unless you’re in a points league or one that counts slugging percentage, we don’t care all that much about the doubles and triples factors. Though all else being equal, Dunn’s doubles potential does decline with the move. Good news for those hoping we see his first triple since 2010 though! Oakland is the fifth best place to show off your wheels and knock a three-base hit!
So it’s quite clear that the park switch hurts Dunn’s rate stats. However, he moves from a team that ranked in the middle of the pack in run scoring to the team that heading into yesterday was tied for first in baseball in runs scored. That’s obviously good news for his potential to both drive in and score runs. He hasn’t exactly contributed positively in those departments so far this year, so perhaps he’ll be given more opportunities now surrounded by a better supporting cast.
Overall, I think the move is actually a very slight positive. If anything, he’ll only lose a homer, but the team switch could tack on a couple of runs batted in and scored, which would more than offset the lost homer.
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