For additional biographical information, please see Dunn's entry in Red Hot Mama's Human League.
Historical Stats (please refer to my Baseball Statistics Quicksheet for descriptions and explanations of the statistics used here):
In addition to his power, Adam Dunn is an incredibly patient hitter. 19% of his plate appearances resulted in walks last year. Only one hitter walked at a higher rate: Jason Giambi (23%). Trailing Dunn are Brian Giles (18%), Todd Helton (18%), Bobby Abreu (17%), Lance Berkman (17%), Jim Edmonds (17%), Nick Johnson (17%), and Chipper Jones (17%). Nice company.
Comparable players to Adam Dunn from Baseball-Reference.com, through age 25:
- Darryl Strawberry (927)
- Reggie Jackson (926) *
- Jose Canseco (918)
- Troy Glaus (909)
- Tom Brunansky (902)
- Juan Gonzalez (901)
- Boog Powell (901)
- Rocky Colavito (891)
- Tony Conigliaro (890)
- Harmon Killebrew (883) *
Those that dislike Adam Dunn tend to knock him for one of two weaknesses in his game. The first is his strikeout rate, which is very high -- he struck out a major league record 195 times in 2004, and, while improved a great deal in '05, he still struck out 168 times. It is true that strikeouts are among the most unproductive outs one can make, save for grounding into a double play or getting caught stealing. Nevertheless, he does so many other things well that I, at least, find this critique to be very overblown: he gets on base, he hits for power, and he's an absolutely delightful guy in the clubhouse. You can do a lot worse. The other knock against him is his fielding...and I'll discuss that below.
2003 to 2005 Splits:
It is also worth noting that Dunn has a fairly substantial home/away split. Dunn hits a lot of big fly balls and thus can take advantage of GABP's home run-friendliness. This appears to have translated into much better production at home than away (26 of his 40 home runs were hit at home in '05). Interestingly, this has not been consistent over the years. There was a large split in '03 (0.888 home, 0.740 away), but the gap narrowed in '04 (0.990 at home, 0.925 away), only to widen dramatically in '05 (1.057 at home, 0.805 away). Dunn is a very good hitter, but I'd like to see him improve his consistency in away games.
(as this is the first time I'm reporting fielding stats, please be sure to check the Baseball Statistics Quicksheet on these numbers. They are all fairly new stats and some involve some adjustments that I've made to hopefully make them more readily understandable)
|Pos.||Year||DI's||Dewan+- (plays/yr)||DialZR (runs/yr)||Gassko (runs/yr)||D*G (runs/yr)||Pinto (runs)||Davenport (runs/yr)||DewanHold (% held)||Walsh (runs/yr)|
|Pos.||Year||DI's||Dewan+- (plays/yr)||DialZR (runs/yr)||Davenport (runs/yr)||Bunt (+/-score)|
At this point, I'll just assume he's an average defender at 1B. If nothing else, he's bound to improve if he ever gets decent playing time there. His performance on bunts was above average last year, a testament to his athleticism. Given his relatively poor fielding performance in left field, a move to 1B does seem like a logical move for Dunn. The cost, of course, is that Hatteberg will be forced out of the lineup. So, ultimately, the question comes down to whether Hatteberg's offense and defense (minus Dunn's LF performance) is more valuable than Denorfia (or whoever)'s offense and defense (minus Dunn's 1B performance). I may try to revisit that question later on.
Baseball Cube, The
Baseball Prospectus '06 Annual
Baseball Think Factory
Hardball Times '06 Annual