When Adam Dunn landed in Chicago this past offseason, most figured it was a good fit. Finally the Big Donkey could settle into a DH role and do focus on doing what he does best, produce big power numbers.
Consider that Dunn came to the Windy City with five consecutive seasons of 40-plus home runs, but managed just 11 homers and 44 RBI in 2011.
Sirius XM Radio’s Ray Flowers provided some great historical data on his blog BaseballGuys.com:
“From 2004-2010 Dunn hit at least 38 homers each year. Only one man in history has a run of more than 7-straight years of hitting 38 or more homers each season. It’s not Babe Ruth who tied with Dunn at seven (1926-32), or Barry Bonds who never did it more than five years in a row (2000-04). The answer to this riddle is actually Rafael Palmeiro (1995-2003).
From 2004-10 Dunn had at least 92 RBI each year. That’s well short of the record of 13-straight such seasons held by Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Alex Rodriguez. Still, only five men were able to hit that total each year from 2004-10: Albert Pujols, Arod, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera and Dunn.
From 2004-10 Dunn scored at least 79 runs each season. Only six others joined Dunn in that group: Bobby Abreu, Teixeira, Pujols, Cabrera, Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon.
All told, how many big leaguers posted a line of 38 homers, 92 RBI and 79 runs scored each year from 2004-10? The answer is one – Adam Dunn.”
The drop last year though was drastic. The final stat line embarrassing….159 BA, .277 SLG, and .569 OPS to go along the aforementioned 11 HR, 42 RBI, and 36 runs over 415 at bats while playing in 122 games.
“I looked at his swing and I told [bench coach] Joey Cora going home, ‘We’ve got a big problem',” former manager Ozzie Guillen said during a recent interview on Chicago’s ESPN 100. “It was painful to see him every at-bat and walk behind me [in the dugout] with a long face after striking out.”
So what can be expected for the 32-year old in the season ahead?
For the White Sox that is the $44 million question. The team owes $14 million this season and $15 million in 2013 and 2014.
History suggests a bounce back is in store for 2012. How much of one remains in question. A .250 season with 35 HR, 90 RBI and 80 runs is not out the question. That is hardly worth the money at Dunn’s rate though.
FANTASY TAKE: Dunn has the makings of a great buy-low candidate heading in the season. However, in leagues where owners are penalized for strikeouts his value dips down. Don’t get carried away, but if he slips past the first 16-18 first basemen he become a value pick that can provide a great source of power numbers at a dirt-cheap price.
Fantasy Baseball, MLB