The specter of 2011 hangs over Adam Dunn like a thunderstorm. If it wasn’t for Ozzie Guillen and his euthanization of Dunn’s season, Adam would have had one of the worst official baseball seasons ever. Even without the required amount of at bats, it is hard to ignore the abyss that was Adam Dunn in 2011. Dunn definitely rebounded last year and a few whispers were leaked out revealing that there might have been more to Dunn’s poor 2011 than just poor baseball. Even so, before we take one more dip in the pool of glory, let’s remember that 2012 wasn’t exactly the greatest season ever either. As Pete Rose quipped, “a guy batting .204 is up for comeback player of the year.”
Granted, batting average ain’t what it used to be and Pete managed to fund his gambling pursuits very well by having a high batting average (not to mention still able to get a seat at casinos for autographs and such) and home runs were never Pete’s game. Dunn rebounded in all the stats we wanted to see. He is the quintessential Thome-style hitter; a walk, a strikeout, or a homerun, nothing else really matters. In fact, he was only five home runs off of the Thome Triple Crown, leading the league in strikeouts and walks, but fifth in home runs. I am still waiting to see a truly MAJESTIC bomb from Dunn live and in person and that mere possibility makes his at bats appointment television or viewing at the ballpark.
Just to posit a theory about Dunn that I think I approached before, but can’t find right now, the departure of Ozzie Guillen helped him. It just seems like working for Ozzie would be a lot to take on a day to day basis. Don’t get me wrong, I like Ozzie, think he is a good manager but his style isn’t for everyone and it also has an expiration date (like most managers). I think the more hands off, sedate approach of Ventura has helped Dunn, if only a little, but in professional sports a little can be a whole lot.
Dunn’s overall line is quite impressive really, considering he really only gets on base via the walk, .204/.333/.468. I wonder if any regular player had more walks than hits in a regular season? Dunn came pretty close with 110 hits and 105 walks. Bill James predicts a similar season for 2013, .207/.341/.442 with 33 home runs, 103 walks and 213 strikeouts. The Thome Triple Crown is within reach.
I’d mention something about Dunn’s defense, but really does anyone care? If Dunn registers significant time in the field, say over 70 games, the White Sox are doomed.