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OnBaseMachine
05-04-2006, 07:20 PM
Someone on another thread asked who Adam Dunn is most comparable to. I was thinking maybe a young Jim Thome, however, after doing more research, I would have to say Harmon Killebrew is a great comparison for Adam Dunn. Both were sluggers who didn't hit for high batting averages, struckout and walked a lot, hit 40+ home runs, and got on base. Only twice did Killebrew hit over .280 in his career.

Inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, Killebrew hit an astounding 573 career round-trippers, surpassed only by Babe Ruth among American League sluggers. Over his 22-year career with the Senators, Twins, and Royals, he tied or led the league in home runs six times, belted 40 or more on eight occasions and knocked in 100 or more runs nine times. "Killer" won the American League MVP Award in 1969, when he led the league in home runs, RBI, walks and on-base percentage.

His career statline: .256/.376/.509-.885

To go along with the 573 home runs, he also hit 290 doubles, walked 1559 times, scored 1283 runs, drove in 1584 runs, and collected 2086 career hits.

Others interesting facts on Harmon Killebrew:

In 1999, he ranked Number 69 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

On the list of lowest batting averages for league RBI champions, Killebrew holds both the number one spot and the number three spot. In 1962, he won the RBI title while batting just .243 – the lowest ever for an RBI champion — and, in 1971, he again led the league in RBI but hit only .254 — the third-lowest ever.

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/images/Killebrew_Harmon_3.jpg

Adam Dunn, to this point in his young career, has amassed 168 career home runs, 130 doubles, 489 walks, 447 runs, 392 RBI, and has collected 588 career hits.

Dunn's career statline: .249/.385/.522-.907

Dunn is on pace for over 600 career home runs, close to 500 doubles, and over 1500 walks. If he can average 95 RBI a year over the next decade that would put him at 1342 RBI, not too far behind Killebrew. 130 hits a year for ten years would put him around 1900 hits, again pretty close to Killebrew. You can't help but think that Dunn will pass him in nearly every category if he stays healthy throughout his career.

More comparisons below...

Harmon Killebrew

AB/HR-14.2
AB/K-4.79

Adam Dunn

AB/HR-14.1
AB/K-3.01

Dunn is slightly better in the AB/HR category...he also strikeouts out more per atbat - but that figure will probably rise up once Dunn learns to lay off those down and away sliders from lefties.

And more...

Harmon Killebrew

-Eight career 40+ HR seasons
-Nine 100+ RBI seasons
-Two 100+ runs scored seasons
-Seven seasons of 100+ walks
-Nine seasons of .900+ OPS
-Four seasons with .400+ OBP

Adam Dunn

-Two career 40+ HR seasons
-Two career 100+ RBI seasons
-Two 100+ runs scored seasons
-Three 100+ walk seasons
-Three .900+ OPS seasons
-One season with .400+ OBP

*Note that Dunn is on pace for his third consecutive 40+ HR, 100+ RBI, 100+ runs, 100+ walks, .900+ OPS season. Harmon Killebrew never accomplished this feat.

As great a player as Harmon Killebrew was, I actually think Adam Dunn is a little better, and if Dunn stay healthy his career stats could rank higher than Killebrew's at the end of the day. Adam Dunn is definitely on his way to a Hall of Fame career in my opinion.

BTW, the comparison between the two comes to an end when it comes to physical build. Dunn is 6'6" 275. Killebrew was a short and stocky 5'11" 210 or so. He generated his power with a short, compact swing.

Below is a link to Harmon Killebrew career stats:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/K/harmon-killebrew.shtml

oneupper
05-04-2006, 09:09 PM
The Twins had a great run in the 60's through the early 70s. Perhaps the best in franchise history. Killebrew had a big part in that.

Big Klu
05-04-2006, 09:15 PM
BTW, the comparison between the two comes to an end when it comes to physical build. Dunn is 6'6" 275. Killebrew was a short and stocky 5'11" 210 or so. He generated his power with a short, compact swing.

Adam Dunn is Harmon Killebrew in Frank Howard's body.

Dunn's early career also tracks closely to Mike Schmidt and Reggie Jackson.

westofyou
05-04-2006, 09:24 PM
Currently Dunn has 2906 PA's for his career a .385 OB% and a .522 slg%

Here's all the players in MLB history under the age 26 with better or the same in OB% and SLG% and more than 160 HR's


CAREER
AGE <= 26
PLATE APPEARANCES displayed only--not a sorting criteria
OBA >= .383
SLG >= .520
HOMERUNS >= 150
EXTRA BASE HITS displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G PA OBA SLG HR EBH
1 Babe Ruth 13.33 2636 .467 .700 162 379
2 Jimmie Foxx 11.04 4590 .437 .640 266 562
3 Joe DiMaggio 10.45 3737 .408 .626 198 481
4 Mickey Mantle 10.22 4770 .430 .577 249 484
5 Albert Pujols 9.58 3428 .416 .621 201 439
6 Mel Ott 8.95 5328 .411 .554 242 546
7 Ralph Kiner 8.73 2582 .398 .568 168 263
8 Willie Mays 8.45 3295 .387 .593 187 378
9 Frank Robinson 8.14 4493 .390 .571 241 505
10 Vladimir Guerrero 7.87 3753 .386 .588 209 446
11 Manny Ramirez 7.71 2923 .390 .558 154 329
12 Adam Dunn 7.57 2906 .385 .522 168 306

Cyclone792
05-04-2006, 09:59 PM
Nice post, OBM.

Here's some more Dunn vs. Killebrew comparisons:


Player, Year (Age) Games Win Shares OPS+

Killebrew, 1959 (23) 153 23 137
Killebrew, 1960 (24) 124 20 145
Killebrew, 1961 (25) 150 27 161

-- After 1961, Killebrew had 75 career win shares in 540 games
-- After 1961, Killebrew was averaging 22.50 win shares per 162 games


Player, Year (Age) Games Win Shares OPS+
Dunn, 2001 (21) 66 10 141
Dunn, 2002 (22) 158 21 118
Dunn, 2003 (23) 116 13 112
Dunn, 2004 (24) 161 32 152
Dunn, 2005 (25) 160 28 135

-- After 2005, Dunn has 104 career win shares in 661 games
-- After 2005, Dunn is averaging 25.49 win shares per 162 games

Not too shabby.

JEA
05-04-2006, 09:59 PM
Don't forget: Killebrew was also an all-state quarterback in high school.

UKFlounder
05-04-2006, 10:34 PM
Enjoyable post.

wolfboy
05-04-2006, 11:09 PM
This is a great post OBM. A very enjoyable read. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

wheels
05-05-2006, 12:28 AM
This thing needs to be bumped, archived.....Whatever it takes to keep it up top and fresh in people's minds.

If this doesn't convince folks that we're watching a Hall of Famer in the making, nothing will.

wolfboy
05-05-2006, 12:55 AM
This thing needs to be bumped, archived.....Whatever it takes to keep it up top and fresh in people's minds.

If this doesn't convince folks that we're watching a Hall of Famer in the making, nothing will.

Unfortunately, for some people...........nothing will.

big boy
05-05-2006, 09:48 AM
Unfortunately, for some people...........nothing will.

Simple math tells you Dunner is headed to the Hall. I hope he is still a Red.

redsmetz
05-05-2006, 10:15 AM
Simple math tells you Dunner is headed to the Hall. I hope he is still a Red.

Careers are made of a long number of years. At this point, players like Dunn and Pujols are pointed that direction, but a career must be played out. It's way too early to pronounce that, but there's no question if he continues as he has thus far, he will be. I'd like him to play his whole career here.

paintmered
05-05-2006, 10:18 AM
Careers are made of a long number of years. At this point, players like Dunn and Pujols are pointed that direction, but a career must be played out. It's way too early to pronounce that, but there's no question if he continues as he has thus far, he will be. I'd like him to play his whole career here.

Absolutely. There's a reason why Roger Maris isn't in the hall of fame.

If Adam sustains his level of success, he will be a first ballot hall of famer.

redsmetz
05-05-2006, 10:28 AM
Absolutely. There's a reason why Roger Maris isn't in the hall of fame.

If Adam sustains his level of success, he will be a first ballot hall of famer.

When you look at the players who stack up with Dunn at this point in his career for his age, two are HOFer's - Killebrew and Reggie Jackson. Some of the others looked like they could have been, but missed the mark Strawberry and Conseco (both of whom squandered their talent), Tony Conigliaro (who was injured tragically by a ball hitting him in the head from which he never fully recovered) and Boog Powell. The others were good ballplayers, Rocky Colavito and Tom Brunansky and two are also still playing, Troy Glaus and Juan Gonzalez. It's interesting to see those lined up together. It shows you how special the Hall of Fame is. (see baseball-reference.com for the comparisons).

GAC
05-05-2006, 10:55 AM
Well... he's no Boog Powell, that's for sure. ;)

Johnny Footstool
05-05-2006, 11:14 AM
Simple math tells you Dunner is headed to the Hall. I hope he is still a Red.

Yeah, but math is hard.


The comparisons on baseball-reference.com are kind of dicey. Juan Gonzalez is nothing like Adam Dunn (Gonzo is a hacker with a low walk rate, while Dunn is extremely patient), yet they show up as "most similar players".

redsmetz
05-05-2006, 11:18 AM
Well... he's no Boog Powell, that's for sure. ;)

Well, it's interesting because when you look at the players who compare with Boog Powell's career, none of them are HOF'ers. All of them were very good players, all of them All Stars (all but one multiple times) and they all ultimately fell short of the HOF.

westofyou
05-05-2006, 11:31 AM
The comparisons on baseball-reference.com are kind of dicey.

I think so to... that's why I do comps.

Looking at Dunns comps at the end of last season, under the age of 26 and going strictly on OB% and Slging% he'd be at the bottom of this list



CAREER
MODERN (1900-)
AGE <= 25
SLG >= .517
OBA >= .380
AVERAGE displayed only--not a sorting criteria
SECONDARY AVERAGE displayed only--not a sorting criteria
AT BATS <= 3500

RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G SLG OBA AVG SEC AB
1 Ted Williams 13.38 .642 .481 .356 .526 2104
2 Jimmie Foxx 10.87 .638 .435 .339 .476 3323
3 Lou Gehrig 10.57 .631 .438 .343 .463 2193
4 Mickey Mantle 10.20 .574 .427 .316 .472 3418
5 Joe DiMaggio 10.11 .623 .402 .343 .378 2827
6 Stan Musial 9.88 .551 .426 .350 .344 2323
7 Joe Jackson 9.65 .528 .435 .366 .324 2700
8 Albert Pujols 9.58 .621 .416 .332 .434 2954
9 Willie Mays 8.29 .584 .382 .306 .437 2314
10 Eddie Mathews 8.22 .556 .388 .281 .458 3206
11 Dick Allen 8.03 .558 .387 .311 .394 2262
12 Frank Robinson 7.81 .561 .384 .302 .403 3286
13 Adam Dunn 7.27 .518 .383 .248 .491 2271

Drop the Batting Average below .280 and the list becomes this


CAREER
MODERN (1900-)
AGE <= 26
SLG >= .517
OBA >= .380
AVERAGE <= .280
SECONDARY AVERAGE displayed only--not a sorting criteria
AT BATS <= 3500

RUNS CREATED/GAME RC/G SLG OBA AVG SEC AB
1 Adam Dunn 7.27 .518 .383 .248 .491 2271


That's because the guy has an ungodly secondary average... he has very few comps and that's why so many people don't understand or care for his game at the plate.

He's a baseball bigfoot, too strange to comprehend unless you want your paradigm shifted.

redsmetz
05-05-2006, 11:45 AM
He's a baseball bigfoot, too strange to comprehend unless you want your paradigm shifted.

Will my health insurance cover that if I have that done at a chiropractor?

redsmetz
05-05-2006, 11:47 AM
Yeah, but math is hard.


The comparisons on baseball-reference.com are kind of dicey. Juan Gonzalez is nothing like Adam Dunn (Gonzo is a hacker with a low walk rate, while Dunn is extremely patient), yet they show up as "most similar players".

I agree the math is kind of hard. I noticed in looking at the various Boog Powell comparables, that when I looked at their comparisons, one of them picked up George Foster and yet he wasn't on most of the others. I don't fully understand their system. Of course, I use it because it's fast and I don't know how to do all the comparisons others can do or get them to format correctly. Of course, I really should be working too.

Chip R
05-05-2006, 11:58 AM
If Dunn accomplishes what he is on pace for HR wise, he is going to be in the conversation when they talk about the greatest power hitters of all time. And that should give him a spot in Cooperstown eventually.

Red Taylor
05-05-2006, 07:56 PM
I don't think anyone considered Killebrew a great player, and outside this message board no one considers Adam a great player. What both of them are is bigtime HR hitters who draw alot of walks. Killebrew was never considered a great all-around player and Adam never will be either, but that's fine by me. Unfortunately, I think Adam is destined to wind up in the American League at some point, because he's a perfect DH candidate. But hopefully that won't happen for quite a few years. I want him in Cincy for a long time.

westofyou
05-05-2006, 08:03 PM
I don't think anyone considered Killebrew a great player, and outside this message board no one considers Adam a great player.

Alrighty then...

Red Taylor
05-05-2006, 08:08 PM
Alrighty then...

I meant he's not a great all-around player. He's great at what he does though. Definitely one of my favorite players.

OnBaseMachine
05-05-2006, 08:29 PM
I don't think anyone considered Killebrew a great player

:laugh:

So why is he in the Hall of Fame?

Red Taylor
05-05-2006, 08:35 PM
:laugh:

So why is he in the Hall of Fame?

Because he was one of the greatest HR hitters ever?

OnBaseMachine
05-05-2006, 08:39 PM
Because he was one of the greatest HR hitters ever?

An hour ago you said no one considered him a great player.

KronoRed
05-05-2006, 08:42 PM
A great power hitter IS a great player.

westofyou
05-05-2006, 08:58 PM
I meant he's not a great all-around player. He's great at what he does though. Definitely one of my favorite players.
Funny thing about baseball, it's a sum of many parts... non are perfect, none are etched in stone. There's room for guys like Gene Connely and Freddie Patek. It takes all types.

Ray Knight was a good all around player, had some pop could field, hit for average, scrappy as they come.

A much better all around player than Darrell Evans.

I'd take Evans in a heartbeat over Knight, just like I'd take Killebrew over Rico Petrocelli or Adam Dunn over Carl Crawford.

redsmetz
05-05-2006, 09:04 PM
I don't think anyone considered Killebrew a great player, and outside this message board no one considers Adam a great player. What both of them are is bigtime HR hitters who draw alot of walks. Killebrew was never considered a great all-around player and Adam never will be either, but that's fine by me. Unfortunately, I think Adam is destined to wind up in the American League at some point, because he's a perfect DH candidate. But hopefully that won't happen for quite a few years. I want him in Cincy for a long time.

He was considered a good enough player to be the AL MVP in 1969.

wheels
05-06-2006, 01:51 AM
I love this thread.

SteelSD
05-06-2006, 02:56 AM
I don't think anyone considered Killebrew a great player...

In 1959, the Senators' Harmon Killebrew made his first All-Star game appearance. He started at 3B for the AL squad.

Here are the rest of Killebrew's AS game appearances:

1961: 3B- Harmon Killebrew (Reserve <Brooks Robinson started)
1963: OF- Harmon Killebrew (Reserve)
1964: OF- Harmon Killebrew (Starter)
1965: 3B- Harmon Killebrew (R <Brooks Robinson again>)
1966: 3B- Harmon Killebrew (R <Brooks Robinson again>)
1967: 1B- Harmon Killebrew (Starter)
1968: 1B- Harmon Killebrew (Starter)
1969: 1B- Harmon Killebrew (Reserve)
1970: 3B- Harmon Killebrew (Starter)
1971: 3B- Harmon Killebrew (R <See: Robinson, Brooks>)

From 1963 to 1971 Harmon Killebrew was an auto-include for the AL All Star teams even when he didn't start. Interestingly enough, until 1969, those selections were made by Managers, coaches, and the players themselves. Knowing that, it's entirely compelling that exactly one year after voting rights were returned to the fans, Harmon Killebrew was voted in as the starter at a position (3B) he returned to in 1969 after not playing regularly there since 1966. And during that span, Killebrew was at a disadvantage. His team kept switching his position.

Yet, Killebrew's nationwide popularity transcended those switches as could only be possible if you're a GREAT player. He was selected as a Reserve at 3B in 1961 even though he played only 65 games there in 1960 and his primary position (119 games) was First Base in 1961. That doesn't happen unless you are so immensely popular that you MUST be in that All Star game.

The very idea that Killebrew wasn't seen as a great player outside his own locale is ludicrous. You don't make nine All Star games in a row much less 11 in 13 years unless you are a GREAT player. And you certainly don't start on All Star teams at three different positions over that span unless you are a GREAT player. And it's not like Minnesota fans could have stuffed the ballot box in 1970. One of the contingencies present in giving the vote back to the fans is that each team would have an equal amount of ballots so as not to repeat the 1957 Reds debacle (where 7 Reds were voted in).


...and outside this message board no one considers Adam a great player.

That only holds true if the totality of "outside this message board" means "at the mlb.com Reds message board". Everywhere else you've got fans who've been trying to figure out for years how to get Adam Dunn over to their favorite team. That's a symptom of having a great player right in front of your face.

And let's be clear- there is NO distinction between "great player" and "great all-around player". It's the same non-functional distinction folks want to make between "great hitter" and "great slugger". That distinction doesn't exist anywhere but in the mind of the guy who's trying to stuff players into little boxes regardless of their actual productivity. The reality is you either you add extreme value to your club or not and if you consistently end up in the top handful of players who add extreme value in your league you are, by definition, a "great player". All other definitions are moot.

Red Taylor
05-06-2006, 04:21 AM
I knew I shouldn't register. I'm too young to post. Sorry.

Cyclone792
05-06-2006, 05:35 AM
I knew I shouldn't register. I'm too young to post. Sorry.

Don't sweat it, bud, and stick around. If you stick around, then I'm sure in due time you'll be glad you did.

Take it from me. I was 15-years-old when I first began to realize that 90 percent of what I knew about the game of baseball was entirely wrong. That may sound pretty harsh to say almost everything I knew at the time was wrong, but it's probably the most accurate assessment. It was on a message board similar to this one that people were talking in a baseball language that I did not understand. It was a baseball language far different from what you'll hear during a broadcast of any baseball game on television or on the radio.

I questioned those people. I listened to what they had to say, and I did the best to do so with an open mind. I asked them to teach me what they knew and explain to me why they believed in all these statistics and methods of analysis that I had never heard of and considered weird. They obliged, they opened up their vault of knowledge, and immediately I began to reap the benefits. I tested many of these new theories out, and amazingly I found that they were almost all universally correct. I learned more about the game, its history and statistical analysis from these guys in a period of six months than I had learned in my entire life before that. It was amazing, honestly.

That was nine years ago, and I'm still learning new things about baseball every day.

There's some incredible minds here that know an incredible amount of everything baseball. Listen to these minds, question them, and ask them to explain to you the roots of why they believe what they believe. Sure, you may still disagree with them on some things, but you'll learn a whole new world about a game that I'm presuming you absolutely love.

westofyou
05-06-2006, 11:31 AM
1971: 3B- Harmon Killebrew (R <See: Robinson, Brooks>)
Harmon hit a home run in the this game, left field stands.

Two rows in front of me, it was the closest I ever got to a HR ball.