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Sunday, June 10, 2012

MLB: Dunn not concerned about batting average

Finally…someone understands Fats Kalin!

When occasionally perusing his statistical line, the last number Adam Dunn looks at is batting average.

“Honestly, I really don’t look at batting average,” Dunn said. “I know my job is to drive in runs and get on base and things of that nature. I don’t care how I get on. I mean, whatever: Walk, hit, I don’t care. But it’s down at the bottom.”

Dunn entered Sunday’s series finale against the Astros hitting .226. But the White Sox designated hitter also ranked second in baseball with 19 home runs and third in the American League with 45 RBIs. He has a .371 on-base percentage, and is tied with Joey Votto for the most walks in the Majors at 48.

Taking his offensive importance one step further, Dunn is No. 1 in the AL at 4.49 pitches viewed per plate appearance, and ranks No. 1 in baseball with 1,164 pitches viewed this season. Those numbers aren’t important to Dunn, as much as they represent his norm as a professional.

“Every year I was kind of up there in that,” said Dunn of the pitches-viewed category. “It goes back to having my approach that is good and bad. Obviously, you want to get the starter out of there as quick as possible, so the more pitches you can see early in a game, the better.”

“He just seems like he’s on base all the time,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Dunn. “Everybody wants their average to be up higher, but I don’t want him to have his average go up without him having the power. He has good at-bats when he goes up there. He’s not a typical three-hole hitter, but for us, he’s on base enough to be a three-hole hitter.”

Repoz Posted: June 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, white sox

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   1. jingoist Posted: June 10, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4153329)
"I view a lot of pitches", said Dunn, "I just dont make much contact with those pitches I view".
   2. base ball chick Posted: June 10, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4153332)
said dunn

i don't hit a lot of pitches, but when i do, i prefer them to leave the park
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 10, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4153335)
I realize it's early in the season, but Dunn's TTO percentage sits at .637(!!). That would shatter the single-season record of .582 by Jack Cust (for batters who qualify for the batting title)

EDIT: he's also on pace to shatter the single-season K record
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 10, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4153338)
as of today, Dunn leads the majors in K's with 95. That's exactly how many pitching K's that MLB leader Verlander has.

C'mon, Adam--you can do it!!
   5. jyjjy Posted: June 10, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4153342)
Dunn had done it in 259 PA though vs 371 batters faced for Verlander.
   6. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: June 10, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4153344)
101 more Ks this year (seems like a lock assuming he stays healthy) and he'll be 4th alltime.
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 10, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4153353)
his stats project to:

52 HRs
130 BB's
255 K's

that would be a rather, ummm..."unusual" season, shall we say
   8. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 10, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4153360)
It does highlight what in my opinion is a problem (or at least is going to soon become a problem): strikeout rates are still rising with no end in sight. There is such a thing as too much of the three true outcomes.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: June 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4153396)
He's K'ing in 45% of his ABs. That's absurd.
   10. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: June 10, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4153435)
He's a three true outcomes God!
   11. PreservedFish Posted: June 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4153438)
his stats project to:

52 HRs
130 BB's
255 K's

that would be a rather, ummm..."unusual" season, shall we say


What a hero!
   12. Zipperholes Posted: June 10, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4153442)
It's mind-boggling to me why anyone would walk him. He has struck out in 45% of his at-bats. EDIT: As Walt notes.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: June 10, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4153445)
It's mind-boggling to me why anyone would walk him.


What are you going to do, throw meatballs? He's like 300 pounds and he kills the ball.
   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 11, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4153453)
So, what happened to him in 2011?
   15.   Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4153471)
[14] Ozzie Guillen (see also: Nick Swisher.)
   16. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:50 AM (#4153479)
[12] Only one walk has been intentional. He's just good at not swinging at pitches out of the zone. (Granted that high of a K rate means he may be taking more pitches in the strikezone than he should be)
   17. zachtoma Posted: June 11, 2012 at 06:07 AM (#4153492)
Breaking news: guy with historically low batting average insists that batting average isn't all that!

It does highlight what in my opinion is a problem (or at least is going to soon become a problem): strikeout rates are still rising with no end in sight. There is such a thing as too much of the three true outcomes.


Yeah, this is true. Watching a pitcher carve up a batter and get the K is just about my favorite thing in the world, but I would hate for the strikeout to be cheapened by overabundance. Why do you think this is? Is it just the continuing evolution of hitters' approaches, ie selling out on contact more and more for OBP/SLG, or is there something else driving strikeout rates? I'm not sure pitchers are doing anything all that different, and league-wide BABIP is pretty constant historically isn't it? (Taking some K's at the plate might make sense strategically in response to increasing defensive efficiency on balls in play). What kind of players would Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds be in the 1930's?
   18. Greg K Posted: June 11, 2012 at 06:13 AM (#4153493)
Once enough years pass I think pitch f/x could be interesting. Say, over twenty years, does the average velocity of fastballs increase. Do sliders and curves break more?
   19. Tricky Dick Posted: June 11, 2012 at 07:00 AM (#4153495)
I realize it's early in the season, but Dunn's TTO percentage sits at .637(!!). That would shatter the single-season record of .582 by Jack Cust (for batters who qualify for the batting title)


Just curious, did you generate a list or is their web site that tracks individual TTO%? I would be interested in seeing who else ranks at the top.
   20. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 11, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4153506)
Yeah, this is true. Watching a pitcher carve up a batter and get the K is just about my favorite thing in the world, but I would hate for the strikeout to be cheapened by overabundance. Why do you think this is?


It's because there is no particular incentive for hitters to avoid striking out (there's no inverse correlation between K rate and effectiveness, and in fact short of a certain point there is a direct correlation between the two), but there is an extremely powerful incentive for pitchers to strike hitters out (K rate is the single most prominent indicator of pitching success).

It's mostly not what the pitchers are doing that's driving K rates up, it's what the hitters are doing. Throughout history hitters have moved, inexorably over time, toward lighter, thinner-handled bats and whipping them through the strike zone faster and faster and faster, trading off increased strikeouts for increased power.

There's also a kind of natural selection at work. For all the bluster you hear from a few of them on the issue, baseball men have always been willing to accept a hitter that strikes out a lot if he hits the ball out of the park once in a while. Whereas they are not willing to accept pitchers that don't strike anybody out. This creates constant upward pressure on strikeouts--and in fact with only a very few very short-lived exceptions, strikeout rates have been steadily rising from the days of Tommy Bond to today. And the rate of increase has actually amped up the past ten years.

Bill James posted an excellent article studying this issue to his (paywall) website a few months ago. Most of the above is derived from that (or is a poor paraphrase of it).

If you want K rates to go down, you have to trade off power to do it; the two are very closely related. The simplest way to achieve it would be thicker bat handles. Less bat speed = less power but more contact. The very sad thing is we'll probably eventually get thicker bat handles after some unfortunate catcher or umpire dies from a bat splinter through the jugular, and then get lower K rates as a side effect.
   21. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 11, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4153511)
The very sad thing is we'll probably eventually get thicker bat handles after some unfortunate catcher or umpire dies from a bat splinter through the jugular,


I think there is a better chance of a baseball striking a pitcher in the head and killing him, than there is of the splinter having enough force after breaking away from a forward-moving bat to go backwards and pierce the skin of someone behind the batter.

We're more likely to see "pitcher helmets" than thicker bat handles.
   22. BDC Posted: June 11, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4153512)
That's an interesting observation, PASTE. One keeps thinking that at a certain point the TTO approach will break down, but it's not happening. Mark Reynolds reached the point where his OBP was .320, just about league average, and when (as in 2010) he didn't slug much above league average, he was not providing much value (at least as a third baseman). But Dunn, this year, is not only slugging the hell out of the ball, but his OBP is .369 in a .320 league, so his strikeouts are perfectly irrelevant. He could reach the point where he never put the ball in play, and still have value – unlikely, but there's no logical reason why not.
   23. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 11, 2012 at 08:52 AM (#4153516)
We're more likely to see "pitcher helmets" than thicker bat handles.


Yeah, actually the more I think about it the more I think this is true. Even if someone DID take a splinter in the neck, you'd just see all the catchers and umpires wearing goalie-style neck shields and the hitters continuing to swing thin-handled bats as hard as they can. Hitters like it.
   24. DanG Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4153556)
There have been 24 times that a batter had 30 HR, 100 BB and 150 SO in a season:

Rk           Player HR  BB  SO OPS+  PA Year Age  Tm Lg   BA  OBP  SLG
1         Adam Dunn 46 108 195  147 681 2004  24 CIN NL .266 .388 .569
2         Adam Dunn 40 114 168  140 671 2005  25 CIN NL .247 .387 .540
3         Adam Dunn 40 112 194  114 683 2006  26 CIN NL .234 .365 .490
4         Adam Dunn 40 101 165  136 632 2007  27 CIN NL .264 .386 .554
5         Adam Dunn 40 122 164  131 651 2008  28 TOT NL .236 .386 .513
6         Adam Dunn 38 116 177  144 668 2009  29 WSN NL .267 .398 .529
7    Brad Wilkerson 32 106 152  120 688 2004  27 MON NL .255 .374 .498
8         Jack Cust 33 111 197  130 598 2008  29 OAK AL .231 .375 .476
9         Jason Bay 35 102 156  138 689 2006  27 PIT NL .286 .396 .532
10       Jay Buhner 40 119 175  132 665 1997  32 SEA AL .243 .383 .506
11      Jim Edmonds 42 103 167  147 643 2000  30 STL NL .295 .411 .583
12      Jim Edmonds 42 101 150  171 612 2004  34 STL NL .301 .418 .643
13        Jim Thome 33 127 171  142 629 1999  28 CLE AL .277 .426 .540
14        Jim Thome 37 118 171  132 684 2000  29 CLE AL .269 .398 .531
15        Jim Thome 49 111 185  170 644 2001  30 CLE AL .291 .416 .624
16        Jim Thome 47 111 182  154 698 2003  32 PHI NL .266 .385 .573
17     Mark McGwire 58 101 159  170 657 1997  33 TOT ML .274 .393 .646
18     Mark McGwire 70 162 155  216 681 1998  34 STL NL .299 .470 .752
19     Mike Schmidt 38 101 180  141 674 1975  25 PHI NL .249 .367 .523
20      Ryan Howard 58 108 181  167 704 2006  26 PHI NL .313 .425 .659
21      Ryan Howard 47 107 199  144 648 2007  27 PHI NL .268 .392 .584
22       Sammy Sosa 64 116 153  203 711 2001  32 CHC NL .328 .437 .737
23       Troy Glaus 47 112 163  150 678 2000  23 ANA AL .284 .404 .604
24       Troy Glaus 41 107 158  133 708 2001  24 ANA AL .250 .367 .531 
   25. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4153560)
Just curious, did you generate a list or is their web site that tracks individual TTO%? I would be interested in seeing who else ranks at the top.

all those with a single-season tto% > .500
   26. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4153564)
Its funny that my browser turned a few of those columns into phone number links.
   27. BDC Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4153569)
phone number links

Preceded by dialing 9, presumably.
   28. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4153577)
Now I see why. OPS+ PA Year for the only two with OPS+ over 200 did it. Had OPS+ and PA been switched, all of them would have autolinked to phone numbers.
   29. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4153579)
What kind of players would Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds be in the 1930's?


Minor leaguers.
   30. jingoist Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4153608)
Absolutely Rants.
The way each of them attempts to field thier assigned position alogside their K-rate would have them struggling to land a position in a MLB club.
   31. formerly dp Posted: June 11, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4153765)
There have been 24 times that a batter had 30 HR, 100 BB and 150 SO in a season:

WTF no Rob Deer on that list?

Just looked it up, and he never really came particularly close-- never walked more than 89 times, and only hit 30+ HRs twice. Did strike out more than 150 times in 6 different seasons.
   32. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4153869)
WTF no Rob Deer on that list?
Just looked it up, and he never really came particularly close-- never walked more than 89 times, and only hit 30+ HRs twice. Did strike out more than 150 times in 6 different seasons.

if you look at my list in #25, neither Deer nor Bonds were TRUE TTO guys--Deer didn't walk that much, and Barry Lamar didn't K very much
   33. BDC Posted: June 11, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4153878)
The way each of them attempts to field thier assigned position alogside their K-rate would have them struggling to land a position in a MLB club

But … but … I thought that timelining would suggest that Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig would hit about .233 nowadays. That would mean both Reynolds and Dunn would hit about .340 in the 1930s. And with 90 home runs a year! :)
   34. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4154002)
I was curious whether a player has ever won the TTO triple crown (leading the league in HR, K and BB). I couldn't do the search on play index but built a pretty quick spreadsheet to figure it out (post-1916 seasons only). Anyway, it is not a very long list and all of the seasons on it are quite good.

1985 NL Dale Murphy - 37 HR / 90 BB / 141 K (152 OPS+)
1983 NL Mike Schmidt - 40 / 128 / 148 (led league in OPS+)
1958 AL Mickey Mantle - 42 / 129 / 120 (led league in OPS+)
1930 NL Hack Wilson - 56 / 105 / 84 (RBI record, led league in OPS+)
1928 AL Babe Ruth - 54 / 137 / 87 (led league in OPS+)
1927 AL Babe Ruth - 60 / 137 / 89 (home run record, led league in OPS+)
1924 AL Babe Ruth - 46 / 142 / 81 (led league in OPS+)
1923 AL Babe Ruth - 41 / 170 / 93 (MVP, led league in OPS+)
   35. Zipperholes Posted: June 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4154012)
But Dunn, this year, is not only slugging the hell out of the ball, but his OBP is .369 in a .320 league, so his strikeouts are perfectly irrelevant.
His strikeouts are very relevant when there is an opportunity to move a runner.
   36. Eddo Posted: June 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4154024)
His strikeouts are very relevant when there is an opportunity to move a runner.

Sure, but how often has that been necessary for Dunn? He's been hitting behind two good baserunners (De Aza and Beckham) and in front of one who's having a fantastic season so far (Konerko).

In fact, you could argue that his high K has been preferable; he's only hit into one double play all year.
   37. Eddo Posted: June 11, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4154032)
Speaking of, I'm just now realizing just how valuable Alejandro De Aza has been this year. Baseball-reference has him at 1.9 WAR so far and Fangraphs has him at 2.3.

He's put up a .385 OBP at the top of the lineup. B-ref has him at -0.0 dWAR, Fangraphs has him with a UZR of 1.3. Anecdotally, he plays a good, but not great, CF. He's not an MVP candidate or anything, but he at least should get some consideration as an All Star, though I doubt he will.
   38. Zipperholes Posted: June 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4154093)
Sure, but how often has that been necessary for Dunn? He's been hitting behind two good baserunners (De Aza and Beckham) and in front of one who's having a fantastic season so far (Konerko).
I don't know how often it has been necessary. I'd be surprised if the avoidance of double plays by striking out outweighs the drawback of not moving runners, over the long run.
   39. Srul Itza At Home Posted: June 11, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4154112)
I was curious whether a player has ever won the TTO triple crown (leading the league in HR, K and BB). . . . Anyway, it is not a very long list and all of the seasons on it are quite good.


Well, if you start out by leading the league in Home Runs and Walks, you are probably having a pretty good season.
   40.   Posted: June 11, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4154148)
I don't know how often it has been necessary. I'd be surprised if the avoidance of double plays by striking out outweighs the drawback of not moving runners, over the long run.


I'd be shocked if it didn't. GIDP's are killers.
   41. Eddo Posted: June 11, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4154161)
I don't know how often it has been necessary. I'd be surprised if the avoidance of double plays by striking out outweighs the drawback of not moving runners, over the long run.

Based on run expectancy (source: Tango), with a runner on first:

0 outs:
Before: 0.853
K: 0.504 (worth -0.349 runs)
GIDP: 0.094 (worth -0.759 runs)
move up runner: 0.678 (worth -0.175 runs)

-0.349 = -0.759x + -0.175(1-x)
-
0.349 = -0.584x 0.175
-0.174 = -0.584x
0.318 


If more than 31.8% of all ground balls Dunn hits in that situation are turned into double plays, then striking out is better.

1 out:
Before: 0.504
K: 0.216 (worth -0.288 runs)
GIDP: 0.00 (worth -0.504 runs)
move up runner: 0.325 (worth -0.179 runs)

Using the same method as above, if more than 33.5% of all ground balls hit are turned into double plays, then striking out is better.

Unfortunately, I don't know where to find out how many ground balls Dunn has hit with a runner on first and less than two outs this year, or for his career. So we can't say for sure if striking out has been more valuable than grounding out.

This is a bit of a strawman, in that contact can obviously lead to more outcomes than I've analyzed here; however, the original post heavily implies that grounding out would be better (or at least I read it that way).
   42. Zipperholes Posted: June 11, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4154168)
Eddo, thanks for the info and analysis. That's great. We'd also benefit by knowing, though, what the likelihood is of him hitting a ground ball, right? And to what extent he could also move runners with a fly ball. And the likelihood of the defense misplaying a ball, even one that should be an out.
   43. Eddo Posted: June 11, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4154275)
Of course, and I tried to acknowledge that a little at the end of my post.

Dunn's flyball rate is at 50.0% this year, up slightly from his career average (47.1%). His ground ball rate is the lowest of his career, at 27.1% (33.2% average). His HR/FB is way up, at 33.1% compared to 21.8% for his career.

In terms of the double play analysis, fly balls aren't really going to factor in. Very few fly balls advance a runner from first. You're right that contact can obviously lead to bad defensive plays, which is non-trivial.

I guess I'd rather have Adam Dunn doing what he's doing now, though; I'll gladly trade some runners advancing (and double plays) for the power he's showing again.
   44.   Posted: June 11, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4154307)
Highest TTO%, min 263 PA (the amount Dunn currently has)
   45. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4154315)
I don't know how often it has been necessary. I'd be surprised if the avoidance of double plays by striking out outweighs the drawback of not moving runners, over the long run.

But that's not the only tradeoff. If he changes his approach to strike out less, how many fewer home runs and walks would he have?
   46.   Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4154318)
But that's not the only tradeoff. If he changes his approach to strike out less, how many fewer home runs and walks would he have?


Judging by last year, many.
   47. Zipperholes Posted: June 11, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4154329)
I guess I'd rather have Adam Dunn doing what he's doing now, though; I'll gladly trade some runners advancing (and double plays) for the power he's showing again.
Sure. I'm not arguing what his approach should be. I'm disputing the notion above that his strikeouts aren't relevant to his effectiveness. They are, but OPS won't tell you that.
   48. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 12, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4154391)
Judging by last year, many.


I don't think there's any evidence he changed his approach (or the White Sox encouraged him to) last year. I think he just sucked.

Similarly, I don't think Swisher (who you mentioned earlier) is evidence of anything other than a guy who had a shitty year on balls in play, but otherwise was pretty much the same hitter. His TTO numbers in Chicago look pretty indistinguishable from those in Oak and NY.



   49. Damon Rutherford Posted: June 12, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4154408)
So, what happened to him in 2011?

Appendicitis.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: June 12, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4154413)
#48 - The theory didn't make sense in the first place. Adam Dunn was one of the most consistent hitters in the majors. You have to believe that a new organization would want to change his process, that Dunn would actually agree to enact those changes, that those changes would have drastic negative consequences, and that, despite the fact that Dunn actually became significantly worse at the one thing that the new philosophy was supposed to address, nobody at any point would have said "forget about it, just do what you normally do." The beginning of that logic chain is believable, but by the end it's an absurdity.
   51. baudib Posted: June 12, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4154428)
Eddo: You're only looking at double play situations, which are hardly the entirety of runner-on-base situations. For example, with a runner on second only, or third only, or second and third, a groundball or flyball are going to be A LOT more valuable than strikeouts.
   52.   Posted: June 12, 2012 at 03:30 AM (#4154430)
That is fair enough.

It's just that I can't help but look at Swisher and Dunn, and now even Logan Morrison (and even John Buck) in Florida, and not thing there's something there to the notion that Ozzie messes up low-average, good TTO players.

For fun, Here are the top 100 players since 2003 with Batting Average < .260 in 800 PA, sorted by TTO.

Edit: Andruw Jones got his revival in Chicago, I suppose. So there's that.
   53. Eddo Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4154505)
Eddo: You're only looking at double play situations, which are hardly the entirety of runner-on-base situations. For example, with a runner on second only, or third only, or second and third, a groundball or flyball are going to be A LOT more valuable than strikeouts.

Certainly.

But it's not like Dunn's not driving in runners. He has 46 RBI so far.

I also wish I knew where to find Dunn's situational stats, or at least how often he's come up with runners in each base state.
   54. Eddo Posted: June 12, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4154507)
It's just that I can't help but look at Swisher and Dunn, and now even Logan Morrison (and even John Buck) in Florida, and not thing there's something there to the notion that Ozzie messes up low-average, good TTO players.

That wouldn't surprise me. Ozzie is definitely a fan of slap hitters, and also seems to be very polarizing among players. The ones he likes love him, and the ones he doesn't hate him.
   55. BDC Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4154538)
A player who hit like Dunn and almost never struck out would certainly have more value than Dunn (setting aside that such a player, able to make contact like that, would be Barry Bonds or Ted Williams, and would thus have a hell of a lot more value than Dunn).

But Dunn has to be seen in the context of his peers. Everybody's striking out a lot these days. He strikes out at a hideous rate, but it's not like he has 96 strikeouts and all the other sluggers have 20 or 30. That's what I should have said instead of "irrelevant"; it's more like the amount of missed opportunity involved in striking out 96 times as opposed to 46 (Mark Trumbo) or 52 (Josh Hamilton) doesn't amount to much of a hill of beans.
   56.   Posted: June 12, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4155139)
I also wish I knew where to find Dunn's situational stats, or at least how often he's come up with runners in each base state.


It's on BB-Ref.
   57. Zipperholes Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4155219)
#48 - The theory didn't make sense in the first place. Adam Dunn was one of the most consistent hitters in the majors. You have to believe that a new organization would want to change his process, that Dunn would actually agree to enact those changes, that those changes would have drastic negative consequences, and that, despite the fact that Dunn actually became significantly worse at the one thing that the new philosophy was supposed to address, nobody at any point would have said "forget about it, just do what you normally do." The beginning of that logic chain is believable, but by the end it's an absurdity.
This all makes sense. But it also seems to be an absurdity that whatever his problem was--personal problems, a hole in his swing, adjusting to DHing, whatever--happened to continue for the exact duration of one baseball season, no more, no less.
   58. Zipperholes Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4155225)
That's what I should have said instead of "irrelevant"; it's more like the amount of missed opportunity involved in striking out 96 times as opposed to 46 (Mark Trumbo) or 52 (Josh Hamilton) doesn't amount to much of a hill of beans.
I don't know about this. Just looking at his 49 at-bats with RISP, he has struck out 20 times. I don't know how many were with 2 outs. If he had managed to put the ball in play half of those times, which is still a bad K rate, that's potentially moving runner(s) 10 times. And this in 35% of a season.
   59. The District Attorney Posted: June 12, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4155236)
James looked at this, like, 30 years ago. You can compare teams that have very different strikeout totals but whose other basic stats are similar. He concluded that every 100 strikeouts was worth -1 run.
   60. Damon Rutherford Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4155309)
This all makes sense. But it also seems to be an absurdity that whatever his problem was--personal problems, a hole in his swing, adjusting to DHing, whatever--happened to continue for the exact duration of one baseball season, no more, no less.

Appendicitis.
   61. Eddo Posted: June 13, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4155314)
It's on BB-Ref.

Boy, don't I feel like an ass now. No more post things like this from work, at least without verifying the numbers weren't right under my nose.

Thanks Shock.

   62. PreservedFish Posted: June 13, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4155321)
This all makes sense. But it also seems to be an absurdity that whatever his problem was--personal problems, a hole in his swing, adjusting to DHing, whatever--happened to continue for the exact duration of one baseball season, no more, no less.


I understand your point, but I find it much easier to chalk up the disaster year to "reasons unknown" than to "bad coaching." Mine is a cop-out, but it's also more likely to be accurate. And it has room for things like appendicitis.
   63. baudib Posted: June 13, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4155323)
Show of hands, who honestly thought Dunn was not...done?

I just figured that given his consistency over a long career, for him to put up a season-long stretch like 2011 meant that he had totally lost it.

If he had hit .159 with 33 homers or something I could see just chalking it up to variance, but man, that was ugly.

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