LONG BEACH— Adam Dunn. He’s supposed to be an adequate replacement for Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez. It’s not true.
I see what all the hype is about. He hits the ball a long ways and he takes his walks. Sounds like a perfect guy. Slide him in to the three hole, or put him in clean up and you got your self a machine, capable of changing a game.
That would be true if his name was Manny Ramirez. But not Adam Dunn.
Adam may be a nice guy, but he spends the majority of his time being “productive” by not even swinging the bat.
Last season, for instance, Dunn reached base by hit or walk 51% of the time. For his career he stands at reaching base without swinging the bat 47% of the time.
These are good measures if you have a team that can hit. But if he is your number four hitter, you’ll need a great number five hitter.
Before you get carried away and think, “He’s not making an out, this is great”, take a look at what he does when you needhim to actually get a hit (walks and HBP do not “knock” in runners from second, first, or even third if the bases aren’t loaded). For his career, with two outs and runner(s) in scoring position Adam makes an out when he swings the bat 78% of the time (he hits .214 in that situation). When the game is late and close, he hits .230. In both of these times he fails to advance the run at least 52% of the time. Going back to the 1950’s, this rate is about 36%.
Adam Dunn is not a guy you “build around”. He’s a guy that needs a good team to pick up the buck he so freely passes. He averages 593 plate appearances, 484 at bats, but only 85 (non-homer) hits a season.
He is the perfect “Moneyball” player. High on base percentage. High slugging. No respect for hitting for average. The results… they worked well for the Diamondbacks last season. The Reds for 7+ seasons prior.