Adam Dunn strikes out…a lot. In 2013 he struck out 189 times to be more specific. Babe Ruth once said, “Never allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Needless to say, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t fear it at all.
While only carrying a .219 batting average last season, he managed to lead the team in a few important areas.
The obvious stat is home runs. Dunn was one of only 15 major leaguers to hit more than 30 home runs for the season (he had 34), and no other player on the Sox had more than 17. In fact, even if you combine second place Alejandro de Aza’s 17 with third place Dayan Viciedo’s 14, you’d still come up short of Dunn’s total.
Unfortunately for the Sox, that wasn’t the only statistical category Dunn led in. What might not come as a shock to most people that have followed his career, Dunn had 76 walks last year. On the other hand, what may shock some people is the fact that he had a 26 walk lead to the next person on the team. Normally Konerko has anywhere from 50 to 80 walks in a season. He only had 45 last year.
Another category he led in was RBI, by 24. That doesn’t seem like that big of a shock since he is a power hitter. However, if I told you he only had 86 RBI, and the next person was Alejandro De Aza with 62 may cause a shock. The White Sox were horrible getting people on base, especially into scoring position. Those two issues combined caused his third straight season of less than 100 RBI. Of course his batting average and runners in scoring position average didn’t help either.
If there’s one thing you can say with a certainty, the man knows how to crush a baseball. Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t learned to hit the ball to the left side and because of that the shift kills a lot of his chances for hits. How many times a year does he get out on a hit through the hole, into right field to the awaiting second baseman that is playing in front of the right fielder? That’s one stat I’m going to try to track this year. I’m curious has to how much that would affect his batting average if the shift wasn’t around.
Dunn actually had one of his best years defensively. It was his second most innings at first base for a season and he came away with his third highest fielding percentage. The thought going into the last couple years was maybe he needed to see the field more. Statistically speaking the last two seasons has been two of his best years defensively, when he’s played more than 250 innings in the field. He helped turn 54 double plays (third most in his career), and assisted on 31 plays (fourth most).
With all this said, I’m going to give him a B minus. The man led the team in categories that meant people were crossing home plate. He also led the team in a couple statistics that they had big issues with last year, on base percentage and walks. By adding up all that, and his solid year defensively is how I came about my grade for the free swinging slugger.