In today’s Enquirer, Paul Daugherty writes about Adam Dunn.
What do you want from Adam Dunn?
There is a problem with being 6 feet 6, weighing 275 pounds and being a good enough athlete that the University of Texas signed you to play quarterback. It is this:
People are always going to want more.
You hit 40 homers? Great. How many were solo?
You drove in 100 runs? What was your batting average with runners in scoring position?
And by the way: Could you mix in some defense?
Is it fair? Beats me.
If history holds, Dunn will hit at least 40 home runs, drive in 100 runs and score 100 more this season, for the third year in a row. He’ll walk at least 100 times. His on-base percentage will be near the 10 best in the National League. He’s all of 26 years old.
If that’s all there is, OK. As Reds manager Jerry Narron said Wednesday, “That ain’t bad.”
No, it ain’t.
Isn’t Dunn the only person in Reds history to drive in and score 100 runs in a season multiple times (Morgan did it once)? He also owns 3 of the Reds top 9 positions for walks in a season (Morgan owns the other 6). In other words, he’s doing things that have never been done in the history of this franchise.
Until Narron rested him Wednesday, Dunn was the only Red to play in every game this season. The last several days, he took early batting practice. You never hear a peep from him about switching positions. He doesn’t say much when allegedly ill-informed media people crack on his game.
Yet he affects an air of indifference. Dunn has said the worst advice he ever got came from former Reds general manager Jim Bowden, who told him he should pull the ball more. Yet some opponents are shifting all four infielders between first base and second base when the left-handed-hitting Dunn appears at the plate.
He has worked with Reds hitting coach Chris Chambliss, who has urged Dunn to use more of the field and to adjust his plate approach depending on the count he’s facing. But when he has fallen behind no balls and two strikes this season, Dunn is 0-for-10 with nine strikeouts.
Have they shifted all 4 infielders? I hadn’t seen that. I’ve seen the old “McCovey shift” where the SS was to the right of 2B, but the 3B? Let’s also remember, they used to shift the other way on Bench also.
If Dunn were older, it would be easier to say he was following the career path blazed by Dave Kingman. If he were 36 instead of 26, we all would be urging him to write “designated hitter” on his tax returns. We’d be looking at that size and athleticism and wondering, “Is that all there is?” even as he approaches 500 homers.
Couldn’t keep from making the Kingman comparison even though the only thing they seem to have in common is that they both his HRs, play LF, and strike out alot. But as Brian had posted last July, the comparison isn’t very valid. I would also mention that Baseball Reference.com lists comparable hitters at his age as the likes of Darryl Strawberry, Reggie Jackson, Jose Canseco, Troy Glaus, Boog Powell, Harmon Killebrew. Pretty select company and no mention of Dave Kingman.