Baseballistic
All Things Baseball

Adam Slams it and the Game is DUNN!

Adam Dunn is a special kind of hitter; the ball doesn’t hit his bat very often, but when it does, that ball is in for a long, long ride. 

The first thing that strikes you about Dunn is his 6-foot-6, 275 pound frame.  He’s the biggest player the MLB has seen since Cecil Fielder and he uses that to his advantage.  The next thing that strikes you about Dunn is how often he strikes-out.  In 277 at-bats this season, the Reds’ #44 has struck-out 91 times; a K-rate of 0.33 (or roughly 1 strikeout per 3 at-bats).  He swings wildly at pitches well out of the zone; he looks at pitches that are clear strikes, and yet Adam Dunn is one of the most powerful hitters in the National League. 

That’s because if the ball hits Dunn’s bat, it’s a good bet that someone in the outfield crowd has a souvenir. 

Through today’s games, Adam Dunn is batting .231 with 26homeruns (2nd in MLB) and 52RBI.  That average is awful, but he also has a great .375OBP and an amazing (at least with that average) .560 slugging percentage.  Of Dunn’s 64 hits this season, 26 are homeruns and 13 are doubles, so more than half of his hits go for extra-bases and over a third of his hits leave the ballpark.  That makes pitchers scared of Dunn, enough so, that even his free-swinging approach has earned Adam 64 walks, most of them unintentional.  Many of Dunn’s homeruns have also come at clutch times this season for the Reds; it’s premature to say this, but Dunn might just be another David Ortiz, without the batting average.

And today’s performance by #44 did nothing to deter that prediction.  Dunn came up in the 9th inning of today’s ballgame against the Cleveland Indians, with the bases loaded, 2 outs, and the Reds trailing by 3 runs.  Adam Dunn took a Bob Wickman pitch way out of the ballpark for a walk-off Grand Slam, to a standing ovation from the crowd at Great American Ballpark. 

A couple more walk-offs and Dunn can solidify his place as the National League’s Big Papi, and become one of the most feared hitters in baseball.  He has been a big part of the Reds’ major improvement from last season, and Dunn is leading a Cincinnati team that is tied for the NL Central lead with St. Louis; a tie that very few expected in what is usually the toughest division in baseball.

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