Adam Dunn - Not a Very Good Player
by Asher B. Chancey
Is anyone else as unimpressed with Adam Dunn as I am? I really think that Adam Dunn, though not a Kingman candidate per se, really personifies "the least with the most."
The Dunner has hit 40 homeruns this year, and walked 101 times. These are both impressive numbers. But what does he have to show for it?
Well, for one thing, he has an .890 OPS. Are you kidding me?
There are eight players who have hit 40 or more homeruns this season, plus Jim Thome, who has 39, and Carlos Delgado, who has 38. Of those players, only Dunn has an OPS under .900. In fact, it is not close – Delgado is at .935, Soriano is at .948, Beltran is at .999, and everyone else is over 1.000. Continuing down the homerun leader board, you have to go past Giambi and Thomas to Carlos Lee, who has 34 homeruns, to find the next guy with an OPS under .900.
As I mentioned, the Dunner has 101 walks. There are currently eight guys with 97 or more walks in the league. Of those players, only Brian Giles has an OPS lower than Adam Dunn, and Giles has only hit 13 homeruns all year.
Dunn's 40 homeruns have led to 91 RBI and 94 runs. Of players with 40 or more homeruns, Dunn and Soriano are the only ones without 100 RBI, and Soriano bats leadoff. Additionally, Soriano has score 15 more runs and has the same number of RBI as Dunn.
Extending further down the leader board, of the Top 25 homerun hitters this season, only Frank Thomas (36 homeruns), Vernon Wells (32) and Aramis Ramirez (32) have failed to score or drive in 100 runs. Thomas has been on the DL this season and is within 2 RBI of 100, and Wells and Ramirez are 2 and 3 RBI away from 100 respectively.
The Dunner currently ranks seventh in the majors in homeruns, but ranks 37th in total bases, behind Gary Mathews, Jr., and Joe Crede. In fact, he ranks just ahead of Bill Hall and Jeff Francoeur in total bases. He also ranks fifth in the majors in walks – but leads the majors in strikeouts. He does not rank in the Top 150 players in doubles!
I could go on to tell you that the Dunner ranks last amongst players with 40 homeruns in doubles, batting average (actually, he last amongst players with 30
homeruns in batting average), and hits, but I think you are getting the point.
Adam Dunn hits homeruns. Because he hits homeruns, he gets walked a lot. But other than hitting homeruns and walking, Adam Dunn doesn't do a whole for his team. And, he isn't getting any better. This will be the second straight year in which his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage have declined. He doesn't look like he will get to last season's totals in runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, or walks, and he has already eclipsed his strikeout total from last season.
And, oh by the way, let's stop by splitsville on the way home – Dunn has 22 homeruns and 55 RBI at home this season, compared to 18 and 36 on the road, but all his other numbers are as good or better on the road. It almost leads you to believe that, playing in the Great American Ballpark, he swings for the fences all day, but when he is on the road he actually becomes a better player
Every year, we give the Dave Kingman Award to the "player doing the least with the most," which is essentially an award given to the player who hits the most homeruns without being particularly valuable to his team. And Adam Dunn isn't that. His combination of power and walks, and .890 OPS, do indicate value.
It's not that Adam Dunn isn't valuable. It's just that he's not that good. And that is an interesting distinction to have to make.
Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Asher resides in Philadelphia, PA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org