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BLEEDS
07-15-2008, 07:35 PM
for those of you in the Dunn-bashing crew, you have the esteemed Mr. Fhey in your corner...

However, nobody from the ORG. (for full thread, read: http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70256)


http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...=2008807130431

The Reds are going to go into the All-Star break in a sort of baseball limbo.

Within reach of .500. Not really in contention. Not really out of contention. Playing better, but not really hot.

Fifty fans would have 50 different reasons why the Reds aren't in better shape. Among the popular complaints:

Dusty Baker stuck with Corey Patterson too long. The fifth spot in the rotation has been a black hole. Ken Griffey Jr. shouldn't be hitting in the third spot. The Reds don't hit in the clutch. Edwin Encarnacion continues to throw the ball away on a regular basis.

There's some validity to all of the above.

But the real reason the Reds are where they are?

Four of their highest-paid, most experienced players are having bad years. Among Griffey, Adam Dunn, Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, none is having even a mediocre year.

"That's a fair assessment," Baker said. "You pay attention to them because they're big guys. They're the highest-salary guys."

Dunn makes $13 million, Griffey $12.5 million, Harang $6.75 million and Arroyo $4.575 million - nearly half the Reds' $74.1 million total payroll.

If all four were close to their average big-league numbers, the Reds probably would be right in the thick of the National League Central race.

If two of the four were having decent years, the Reds probably would be .500 or better.

Baker and his coaches have spent a lot of time trying to get them there.

"You try to find out why," Baker said. "You try to get a guy back to that point of excellence that everyone is used to, especially them. Nobody's more disappointed than they are."

But none of the four is even close to the numbers on the backs of their baseball cards. Consider (all stats are going into Saturday's game):

Griffey is hitting .235 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI. He hasn't hit left-handers (.198) and he hasn't hit with runners in scoring position (.224).

Griffey is 38 years old, so no one expects the 1997 Griffey. But the Reds would take the 2007 Griffey. He was hitting .286 with 23 home runs and 59 RBI at the break last year.

Dunn is hitting .225 with 24 home runs and 54 RBI. His on-base percentage (.381) is the best on the team, and he's tied for the NL lead in walks.

But, like Griffey, he has struggled against left-handers (.179) and with RISP (.213).

Dunn probably never is going to hit .300 or even .280, but he hit .264 last year.

Harang is 3-11 with a 4.76 ERA. His sore forearm and workload might have something to do with his numbers.

But even before the infamous relief appearance in San Diego, Harang could not seem to get on the kind of roll he had in the past.

Arroyo is 7-7 with a 5.97 ERA. He admitted last week that he's very lucky to be at .500 given his ERA.

Of the big four, he's shown the most positive signs of turning it around. He's 3-0 over his last three starts.

Baker is banking the second half on the hope that the big four will be themselves again.

"We've got a lot of season left," he said. "Hopefully, they can have a monster 2 months."

Three of the four are in their prime years: Arroyo's 31, Harang's 30 and Dunn's 28.

Again, Griffey is 38. His father, Ken Sr., hit .286 with 14 home runs and 64 RBI at 37. He hit .255 with four home runs and 23 RBI the next year.

But Baker thinks all four can return to reasonable facsimiles of their former selves.

"Yeah, they can," Baker said. "I know some people don't think so, but I think so."

If they don't, the Reds' second half will be a lot like their first half.

757690
07-15-2008, 08:18 PM
I have been pretty hard on Dunn, but I don't think it is fair to lump him in with Harang, Arroyo and Griffey. Dunn is having almost exactly the same year he always has. You can argue about the value of that, but you can't say he is having a "bad" year, he is just having a "Dunn" year.

That said, I can give Fay a little slack, not much, but a little. I think his main thought was that these guys are among the highest paid, and have not performed like it. And he did qualify it by saying that Dunn is have a good year with HR's RBI's and OBP, but that Dunn is hitting worse against lefties than usual, and worse with RISP. Those are crucial enough stats that I think one could argue he is having an off year in some respects. Also Dunn has had two terrible slumps this year, which can make it seem like he has been less productive overall (or his hot streaks make it seem like he is more productive overall) than he really has been. But also is par for the course with Dunn, even he admits that.

Just for the record, I think Griffey will have a much better second half. He really seemed to have turned it around the last few weeks.

Michael Young
07-15-2008, 08:27 PM
John Fay is a damn fool. Simply put.

jackson
07-15-2008, 08:44 PM
Dunn's stats 26 HR's, 59 rbi's, 99 k's ON pace for 45 HR's, 102 rbi's and 171 K's per ESPN
2007 stats 40 Hr's 106 rbi's and 165 K's

Granted he'll probably slump somewhere along the way but these are the facts

Tell me if i can't compare the stats but its looks as if he is having a pretty consistent year compared to last year

improbus
07-15-2008, 10:13 PM
Dunn isn't the problem. The Reds just do not use Dunn correctly. He needs to be hitting 3rd. His OBP is wasted in 5th.

Arroyo is getting better, but I don't see much consistency from him and his upcoming escalating salary is going to become a HUGE problem ($9.5 million in 2009, $11 million in 2010, and $11 million in 2011 with a $2 million dollar buyout. Arroyo will NEVER be an $11 million dollar pitcher.

Harang has not been healthy.

Griffey is old, but starting to swing the bat better.

Now, I don't think Fay was attacking these guys. But, if we are going to spend around $35 million or 4 players, they better play pretty darn well, and in that I do agree with him.

Javy Pornstache
07-15-2008, 10:16 PM
John Fay has been enjoying a less than mediocre career as Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Mutaman
07-16-2008, 12:49 AM
Dunn isn't the problem. The Reds just do not use Dunn correctly. He needs to be hitting 3rd. His OBP is wasted in 5th.

.


I agree. If Dunn were only hitting third, he would be an all star and the Reds would be challenging the Cubs. What a waste of a fine OBP.

ChatterRed
07-16-2008, 01:28 AM
Dunn is the problem. If he were the real deal, we'd get 130 rbi's plus out of him.

Newman4
07-16-2008, 02:40 AM
Dunn is much closer to the norm than the others. This is a good example of Fay just grasping for material. To be fair, this year's contracts for Harang and Arroyo aren't exactly bank busters. It's the next few years when they become huge. Take a look at this from Cot's:

Starting pitchers
The highest-paid starting pitchers, by average annual value:

Johan Santana, $22,916,667 (2008-13)
Carlos Zambrano, $18,300,000 (2008-12)
Barry Zito, $18,000,000 (2007-13)
Jake Peavy, $17,333,333 (2010-12)
Andy Pettitte, $16,000,000 (2008)
Jason Schmidt, $15,666,667 (2007-09)
Mike Hampton, $15,125,000 (2001-08)
Roy Oswalt, $14,600,000 (2007-11)
Mark Buehrle, $14,000,000 (2008-11)
John Smoltz, $14,000,000 (2008)

Roy Halladay, $13,333,333 (2008-10)
Pedro Martinez, $13,250,000 (2005-08)
Randy Johnson, $13,000,000 (2007-08)
Chris Carpenter, $12,700,000 (2008-11)
Bronson Arroyo, $12,500,000 (2009-10)
Kevin Millwood, $12,000,000 (2006-10)

:eek:

JayBruce4HOF
07-16-2008, 04:16 AM
Dunn is the problem. If he were the real deal, we'd get 130 rbi's plus out of him.

Please, please, PLEASE tell me that you're being sarcastic.

You understand that RBIs are wholly dependent on the players AROUND you, correct? :rolleyes:

Ghosts of 1990
07-16-2008, 07:53 AM
I said it all along dunn will end up with the best numbers he's ever had. Book it.

I(heart)Freel
07-16-2008, 08:46 AM
Please, please, PLEASE tell me that you're being sarcastic.

You understand that RBIs are wholly dependent on the players AROUND you, correct? :rolleyes:

Yer right... the lame .213 RISP has nothing to do with it at all.

I for one think Fay's point is valid. Those "big four" should be the ones you want up/on the mound with the game on the line. And they simply aren't. Or haven't been yet.

RedLegsToday
07-16-2008, 09:29 AM
Yer right... the lame .213 RISP has nothing to do with it at all.

Would you be happier if he had 2 more singles so far with RISP? That would raise Dunn's BA up to .250 w/RISP, which is higher than his lifetime average, and give him another 2-4 rbi on the year.

For comparison sake:

BPhil has had 282 runners on base (including 1st only)
Dunn has had 214 runners on base (including 1st only)

BPhil is hitting .295 with RISP
Dunn is hitting .213 with RISP

BPhil has 58 rbi
Dunn has 59 rbi

Nasty_Boy
07-16-2008, 10:15 AM
A friend sent me these stats last week. They may have changed slightly, but the numbers show that Dunn has done a lot with little.

Phillips has had many more chances than Dunn with fewer results. And for the sac fly / productive out crowd, BP 5 sac flies Dunn 4 sac flies. Put AD in the 3-4 hole with JHJ Kepp and even BP in front of him and his RBI totals would easily be in the 70's... Also Phillips cost 2 RBIs early in the year by getting hit by Dunn's base hit with the bases loaded.


Phillips 245

Griffey 165

Dunn 156

Runners on 3rd while batting:

Phillips 48

Griffey 25

Dunn 29

Runners on 2nd while batting :

Phillips 76

Griffey 50

Dunn 59

BLEEDS
07-16-2008, 10:34 AM
Fay is guilty of falling for the same gag that the rest of the Dunn bashers fall for - the "Back of the Bubblegum Card Analysis"...

There's a lot more to read into the Analysis, where OBP and OPS are more true indicators of production.

PEACE

-BLEEDS

justincredible
07-16-2008, 10:43 AM
Yer right... the lame .213 RISP has nothing to do with it at all.

Would you be happier if he had 2 more singles so far with RISP? That would raise Dunn's BA up to .250 w/RISP, which is higher than his lifetime average, and give him another 2-4 rbi on the year.

For comparison sake:

BPhil has had 282 runners on base (including 1st only)
Dunn has had 214 runners on base (including 1st only)

BPhil is hitting .295 with RISP
Dunn is hitting .213 with RISP

BPhil has 58 rbi
Dunn has 59 rbi

The numbers don't lie. People can't see through their blind hatred of Dunn and give the man credit. They cling to lame stats like BA and BA w/RISP to knock him even when it is shown time and time again that he produces very well without sexy numbers in those areas.

Dunn is the best run producer on this team but gets treated like he has slept with everyone's wife.

Fon Duc Tow
07-16-2008, 12:26 PM
Dunn would be a phenomenal DH.

Plus, he could then devote more energy to his golf game.

It would be a win/win for any American League team.

Although Dunn would probably be happier in warmer climates. Golf year round. Minnesota for example, would not be a good fit for Dunn.

The important thing is, what team is going to be most conducive to Dunn lowering his Golf handicap. Everything else is secondary.

Tampa, I am thinking perhaps?

Ghosts of 1990
07-16-2008, 12:57 PM
Also Dunn hasn't gotten to play 'every day' like he's used to.

He has been sat about 10 times, taking away more stats from him. Who's to say he wouldn't have 30 HR and 65 RBI right now if he hadn't of had to sit instead of playing every game he was available.

improbus
07-16-2008, 01:12 PM
The numbers don't lie. People can't see through their blind hatred of Dunn and give the man credit. They cling to lame stats like BA and BA w/RISP to knock him even when it is shown time and time again that he produces very well without sexy numbers in those areas.

Dunn is the best run producer on this team but gets treated like he has slept with everyone's wife.

Dunn has hit 16 solo shots compared to Phillips 9. So, Dunn has knocked in 43 inherited runners (20%) and Phillips has knocked in 49 inherited runners (17%).

Ghosts of 1990
07-16-2008, 01:17 PM
Dunn would be a phenomenal DH.

Plus, he could then devote more energy to his golf game.

It would be a win/win for any American League team.

Although Dunn would probably be happier in warmer climates. Golf year round. Minnesota for example, would not be a good fit for Dunn.

The important thing is, what team is going to be most conducive to Dunn lowering his Golf handicap. Everything else is secondary.

Tampa, I am thinking perhaps?

He's a fisherman, not a golfer.

CWRed
07-16-2008, 02:04 PM
Dunn is the problem. If he were the real deal, we'd get 130 rbi's plus out of him.

That's good logic. If Corey Patterson was any good he would hit .260 and only get picked off twice a year.

Nasty_Boy
07-16-2008, 02:55 PM
I love when people act like athletes can't have a life outside of their sport. Their job is to play ball, be in shape, and produce. I see that with Adam Dunn. If he wants to fish on an off day or after a game, then he should fish. I'm sure the people on here have jobs, and when their day is over they go home and do whatever it is they want to do. Just because an athlete's job is our entertainment does not mean that they have to devote their every waking minute to their craft.

justincredible
07-16-2008, 04:06 PM
Dunn is the problem. If he were the real deal, we'd get 130 rbi's plus out of him.

So in order for Dunn to be any good he needs to lead the league (or be in the top 2 or 3) in RBI every single year? When Dunn has runners on base, he gets them in. Why is it his fault he doesn't get as many runners on base when he hits as the top RBI guys?

BLEEDS
07-16-2008, 05:14 PM
Dunn has hit 16 solo shots compared to Phillips 9. So, Dunn has knocked in 43 inherited runners (20%) and Phillips has knocked in 49 inherited runners (17%).

Yeah, but what's his BATTING AVERAGE with RISP?!?!? Don't you know that's the REAL indicator, not what he actually PRODUCES in terms of runs!!!:confused:

Of course, I guess it isn't fair for Phillips, since for Dunn, First Base is actually scoring position for him...

PEACE

-BLEEDS

4-28
07-16-2008, 05:49 PM
Dunn would be a phenomenal DH.

Plus, he could then devote more energy to his golf game.

It would be a win/win for any American League team.

Although Dunn would probably be happier in warmer climates. Golf year round. Minnesota for example, would not be a good fit for Dunn.

The important thing is, what team is going to be most conducive to Dunn lowering his Golf handicap. Everything else is secondary.

Tampa, I am thinking perhaps?

Ah yes, the old Dunn is lazy and doesn't eat, sleep, and drink baseball as he should.

The question is, if Dunn should only concern himself about his job, and posting on a message board certainly isn't your job, what are you doing posting on this message board? Perhaps you to are lazy and should focus more on your profession? And I certainly hope you never read and post on this board while *gasp* you're at work!

Fon Duc Tow
07-16-2008, 08:59 PM
Ah yes, the old Dunn is lazy and doesn't eat, sleep, and drink baseball as he should.

The question is, if Dunn should only concern himself about his job, and posting on a message board certainly isn't your job, what are you doing posting on this message board? Perhaps you to are lazy and should focus more on your profession? And I certainly hope you never read and post on this board while *gasp* you're at work!


Jeez roast a guy for merely thinking in the best interest of Dunn's golf handicap.

:eek:

Tampa would bring him down into the 70s I just know it. ;)

bounty37h
07-17-2008, 02:03 PM
The numbers don't lie. People can't see through their blind hatred of Dunn and give the man credit. They cling to lame stats like BA and BA w/RISP to knock him even when it is shown time and time again that he produces very well without sexy numbers in those areas.

Dunn is the best run producer on this team but gets treated like he has slept with everyone's wife.

I think thats kinda the point, he is the best run producer on this team, on a team that sucks at producing runs. Just cause your the best smelling turd in the toilet doesnt mean your not still just a turd :) (i know, too extreme)

improbus
07-18-2008, 01:01 AM
I don't defend Dunn very often, but here goes.

If Dunn were hitting in the 3 hole (where he should be), and he produced at his current pace, he would have around 72 rbi's, which would be 4th in the NL. But, because he hits 5th, and Phillips and Junior aren't on base that much, he has significantly less rbi's.

Dunn needs to hit 3rd or 4th. He is wasted in the 5 hole.

Also, Dunn gets blamed for his pathetic defense, and rightly so, but he is by no means the only one. At least he makes up for it at the plate. EE hasn't, neither has Ross or Junior.

gitterdunn
07-18-2008, 01:05 AM
Also, Dunn gets blamed for his pathetic defense, and rightly so, but he is by no means the only one. At least he makes up for it at the plate. EE hasn't, neither has Ross or Junior.

Agreed, I love Griffey and as much as I hate to say it but I believe the pasture is callin'...

BLEEDS
07-18-2008, 01:10 PM
I don't defend Dunn very often, but here goes.

If Dunn were hitting in the 3 hole (where he should be), and he produced at his current pace, he would have around 72 rbi's, which would be 4th in the NL. But, because he hits 5th, and Phillips and Junior aren't on base that much, he has significantly less rbi's.

Dunn needs to hit 3rd or 4th. He is wasted in the 5 hole.

Also, Dunn gets blamed for his pathetic defense, and rightly so, but he is by no means the only one. At least he makes up for it at the plate. EE hasn't, neither has Ross or Junior.

Some interesting quotes from the ORG Thread:
""
Originally posted by Raisor
Runners on Base

Junior 225
Phillips 282
Dunn 214

If Dunn had those 282 runners at his current % of plating guys, he'd have 70 RBI and we wouldn't be having this discussion.


Originally Posted by SteelSD
BTW, how does Adam Dunn have more RBI from the beginning the 2007 season through now versus Albert Pujols even though Pujols has a .335 BA versus .251 BA advantage and 39 more AB over that time frame?

Originally Posted by Raisor
Now isn't that interesting?
2007-08
Pujols 153 RBI, 671 runners on base, 497 PA's w/Runners on
Dunn 165 (+8%) RBI, 641 (-5%) runners on base, 443 (-12%) PA's w/Runners on

Runs Created in that time span:
Dunn 72.6 in 443 PA's w/Runners on 16.4 per 100 PA's
Pujols 81.1 in 497 PA's w/Runners on 16.3 per 100 PA's

Maybe it isn't the Batting average after all?
""

funny how everyone rags on Dunn for "not being an RBI guy" but Phillips gets a free pass - even though he's THE CLEANUP HITTER. 68 more guys on the pond, and -2 RBI's (as of the time this was referenced).

And, everyone's SuperHero Pujols, gets out-produced by Dunn even though he has MORE PA's with runners on and MORE Runners on.

Clueless Joe Jackson, the Mascot of the Sun Deck.

PEACE

-BLEEDS

Brutus
07-19-2008, 02:03 PM
The numbers don't lie. People can't see through their blind hatred of Dunn and give the man credit. They cling to lame stats like BA and BA w/RISP to knock him even when it is shown time and time again that he produces very well without sexy numbers in those areas.

Dunn is the best run producer on this team but gets treated like he has slept with everyone's wife.

Lame?

Sorry, but that's another overly-broad attempt to convincing the casual and traditional baseball fan that there's only one correct method to analyze production these days.

I'm a pretty hardcore "SABR" guy myself. I've got spreadsheets with built-in sabermetric formulas of all kinds, documents downloaded, a big folder full of every formula and explanation I could find. And through it all, I'd say your characterization of those stats as being "lame" is completely irresponsible.

Even in comparison to Runs Created, OPS, Gross Production Average, weighted On-Base Average and the other various forms of run estimators, while Batting Average correlates lower, it does pretty well standing alone.

Where a lot of sabermaticians fall woefully short of accurately representing matters is by saying (or insinuating) batting average doesn't have a place in conversation. Though the run estimators correlate somewhere in the neighborhood of 90-95 percent, with those other metrics coming in around 88-93 percent, BA still correlates to run production at about a 70-76 percent rate.

I know because I'd analyzed the data myself in as much as a 25-year sample.

While 75 percent correlation isn't enough to be called the most important metric, it's got a close enough relationship to "1" to be deemed notable, in my opinion.

As far as the matter of runners in scoring position, that's a touchy subject that probably is biased to the end-user in the discussion based solely on where they fall in the matter of clutch hitting. In my limited analysis, I don't find Runners in Scoring position to have as big an importance as perhaps hitting with 2 outs or hitting in late innings with the score close. However, I do still find value in measuring a player's performance with runners knocking on the door.

Why?

Well for starters, most stat guys will tell you that contributing to a team's chances of scoring (and avoiding outs consequently) is the most important objective. For the most part, I agree with that.

But if the ultimate goal is to score (avoiding outs is nice, but that is to accomplish the ultimate objective - scoring), why praise a player for his inability to drive the runners in himself, and at best, "draw a walk" to avoid an out... and hope that the new task can be accomplished with someone else in the lineup?

Without any prejudice to the matter of Dunn's ability (or perceived inability) to drive in runs, I hate praising a player with such enthusiasm for being known solely as to drawing so many walks. Walks are a good thing, for sure. However, the game of baseball is played with a bat in the player's hands for a reason.

I'll use myself as an example. I took a lot of walks in high school. When it came down to it, I admittedly was a first baseman / left fielder with no power. I had a great eye, good discipline at the plate, made a lot of contact, got base hits and drew a ton of walks. More for the experience than anything, I tried out for the Cincinnati Reds at their tryout camp in Dublin, Ohio.

The camp had about 300 players, give or take, and after some initial defensive drills, workouts and various lessons, they took about 50 players to perform in a simulated game, splitting the teams in half. I made the game, played some first base (making a few pretty good defensive plays) and got to bat twice - both walks against a kid popping the mitt at about 93.

That said, at the end of the day, even if I represented myself well I didn't get even a small crack at being one of the 3-4 players they worked out individually after the game. Why? Because drawing walks were nice, but they probably weren't looking for that - they were looking to see what players could do with the bat in their hands, not resting on their shoulders.

Ultimately any player can go up to the plate, planning on seeing 5-6 pitches, and probably drawing a handful of walks. Though there are many undisciplined hitters that unfortunately do not understand the concept of drawing walks, it doesn't take as much talent to draw a walk as it does to get a hit. By getting on base, you're giving a lot of value to your team. However, at some point, you've got to have players that can swing the bat or getting on base for them will be an exercise in futility more times than not.

This is in no way a shot at Dunn, but rather a response to your characterization of those stat types. As far as Dunn, because of his ability to draw a walk and enormous power, he's still better than most players. I don't consider him an elite player because to me, to be elite, you've got to be skilled in swinging the bat and that's where Dunn falls short of the Alex Rodriguez's, Hanley Ramirez's, Albert Pujols', Lance Berkman's, Miguel Cabrera's, Vladimir Guerrero's and Chase Utley's of the league. He's a great player, but in my opinion he's not quite in that echelon of players.

I'll say this about the initial article though... while I think the abuse dished out toward Fay both on here and on the Old Red Guard is more of a product of people lashing out at anyone that doesn't see eye-to-eye with sabermetrics, I think he's off-base on this as Dunn's stats (other than average) are pretty much right exactly where they always have been. His home run rate, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, OPS, GPA and everything is pretty much on par with career norms.

And while I like potential free agent options Mark Teixeira or Pat Burrell better than Dunn, I also think for the money I'd expect any of the three to get, it would make more sense just to keep Dunn considering he's not far off their overall value (and it could be reasonably argued he's just as valuable) than to overspend on either of the other two.

Anyhow, there are a lot of people on this board that seemingly want to remove batting average completely. I think that's a misrepresentation of what the leading researchers on baseball statistics would tell you and nothing more than an aggressive attempt to label everything as black or white.

I think, even with the great advance in knowledge and research, baseball can still be defined as a game played by individuals with a lot of moving parts, and most of the game operates within an 80 percent spectrum of facets that cannot be completely defined, explained or quantified with any total degree of certainty. In one last twist of irony, a lot of attempts to measure individual players' run production, the correlation still falls 5-10 percent short of a percent 1.000 in even the best metrics we have, and yet runs scored and RBI's are essentially a perfect correlation to run production.

The knock on these, obviously are that they're team-dependent. But ultimately even Runs Created has been known to be flawed as overly-dependent on high on-base percentages, and Bill James himself had to tweak the formula because he said those guys (like Adam Dunn) were being credited too highly. In summation, baseball IS a team sport so all stats will have some team-dependency on them to an extent. Any player's contribution to run production will ultimately depend on the players playing with him and batting around him. That's why I think there's still some need for balance in measuring individual production within the team concept and actual results within the team concept.

gilpdawg
07-21-2008, 04:59 PM
Lame?

Sorry, but that's another overly-broad attempt to convincing the casual and traditional baseball fan that there's only one correct method to analyze production these days.

I'm a pretty hardcore "SABR" guy myself. I've got spreadsheets with built-in sabermetric formulas of all kinds, documents downloaded, a big folder full of every formula and explanation I could find. And through it all, I'd say your characterization of those stats as being "lame" is completely irresponsible.

Even in comparison to Runs Created, OPS, Gross Production Average, weighted On-Base Average and the other various forms of run estimators, while Batting Average correlates lower, it does pretty well standing alone.

Where a lot of sabermaticians fall woefully short of accurately representing matters is by saying (or insinuating) batting average doesn't have a place in conversation. Though the run estimators correlate somewhere in the neighborhood of 90-95 percent, with those other metrics coming in around 88-93 percent, BA still correlates to run production at about a 70-76 percent rate.

I know because I'd analyzed the data myself in as much as a 25-year sample.

While 75 percent correlation isn't enough to be called the most important metric, it's got a close enough relationship to "1" to be deemed notable, in my opinion.

As far as the matter of runners in scoring position, that's a touchy subject that probably is biased to the end-user in the discussion based solely on where they fall in the matter of clutch hitting. In my limited analysis, I don't find Runners in Scoring position to have as big an importance as perhaps hitting with 2 outs or hitting in late innings with the score close. However, I do still find value in measuring a player's performance with runners knocking on the door.

Why?

Well for starters, most stat guys will tell you that contributing to a team's chances of scoring (and avoiding outs consequently) is the most important objective. For the most part, I agree with that.

But if the ultimate goal is to score (avoiding outs is nice, but that is to accomplish the ultimate objective - scoring), why praise a player for his inability to drive the runners in himself, and at best, "draw a walk" to avoid an out... and hope that the new task can be accomplished with someone else in the lineup?

Without any prejudice to the matter of Dunn's ability (or perceived inability) to drive in runs, I hate praising a player with such enthusiasm for being known solely as to drawing so many walks. Walks are a good thing, for sure. However, the game of baseball is played with a bat in the player's hands for a reason.

I'll use myself as an example. I took a lot of walks in high school. When it came down to it, I admittedly was a first baseman / left fielder with no power. I had a great eye, good discipline at the plate, made a lot of contact, got base hits and drew a ton of walks. More for the experience than anything, I tried out for the Cincinnati Reds at their tryout camp in Dublin, Ohio.

The camp had about 300 players, give or take, and after some initial defensive drills, workouts and various lessons, they took about 50 players to perform in a simulated game, splitting the teams in half. I made the game, played some first base (making a few pretty good defensive plays) and got to bat twice - both walks against a kid popping the mitt at about 93.

That said, at the end of the day, even if I represented myself well I didn't get even a small crack at being one of the 3-4 players they worked out individually after the game. Why? Because drawing walks were nice, but they probably weren't looking for that - they were looking to see what players could do with the bat in their hands, not resting on their shoulders.

Ultimately any player can go up to the plate, planning on seeing 5-6 pitches, and probably drawing a handful of walks. Though there are many undisciplined hitters that unfortunately do not understand the concept of drawing walks, it doesn't take as much talent to draw a walk as it does to get a hit. By getting on base, you're giving a lot of value to your team. However, at some point, you've got to have players that can swing the bat or getting on base for them will be an exercise in futility more times than not.

This is in no way a shot at Dunn, but rather a response to your characterization of those stat types. As far as Dunn, because of his ability to draw a walk and enormous power, he's still better than most players. I don't consider him an elite player because to me, to be elite, you've got to be skilled in swinging the bat and that's where Dunn falls short of the Alex Rodriguez's, Hanley Ramirez's, Albert Pujols', Lance Berkman's, Miguel Cabrera's, Vladimir Guerrero's and Chase Utley's of the league. He's a great player, but in my opinion he's not quite in that echelon of players.

I'll say this about the initial article though... while I think the abuse dished out toward Fay both on here and on the Old Red Guard is more of a product of people lashing out at anyone that doesn't see eye-to-eye with sabermetrics, I think he's off-base on this as Dunn's stats (other than average) are pretty much right exactly where they always have been. His home run rate, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, OPS, GPA and everything is pretty much on par with career norms.

And while I like potential free agent options Mark Teixeira or Pat Burrell better than Dunn, I also think for the money I'd expect any of the three to get, it would make more sense just to keep Dunn considering he's not far off their overall value (and it could be reasonably argued he's just as valuable) than to overspend on either of the other two.

Anyhow, there are a lot of people on this board that seemingly want to remove batting average completely. I think that's a misrepresentation of what the leading researchers on baseball statistics would tell you and nothing more than an aggressive attempt to label everything as black or white.

I think, even with the great advance in knowledge and research, baseball can still be defined as a game played by individuals with a lot of moving parts, and most of the game operates within an 80 percent spectrum of facets that cannot be completely defined, explained or quantified with any total degree of certainty. In one last twist of irony, a lot of attempts to measure individual players' run production, the correlation still falls 5-10 percent short of a percent 1.000 in even the best metrics we have, and yet runs scored and RBI's are essentially a perfect correlation to run production.

The knock on these, obviously are that they're team-dependent. But ultimately even Runs Created has been known to be flawed as overly-dependent on high on-base percentages, and Bill James himself had to tweak the formula because he said those guys (like Adam Dunn) were being credited too highly. In summation, baseball IS a team sport so all stats will have some team-dependency on them to an extent. Any player's contribution to run production will ultimately depend on the players playing with him and batting around him. That's why I think there's still some need for balance in measuring individual production within the team concept and actual results within the team concept.
I don't fully agree with it, but good post. We need more people on the Sun Deck who can actually post something besides bluster and strawman arguments.

Actually, the only thing I really disagree with you on is that I think Teixeira is over-rated for the money he's going to get. :)