Aaron Harang, Reds (.088 BA, three extra-base hits in 365 AB)
Harang qualifies for this list by default. Dunn and Austin Kearns, who played with Harang in Cincinnati, recall that he took endless rounds of hitting in the cage. Harang has lots of different bats and gloves in his collection, and he genuinely strives to be good.
The only thing holding him back is a lack of talent. When a hitter can't get around on a fastball, scouts like to say he has a "slider-speed bat.'' In Harang's case, they might have to invent a new frame of reference.
"He swings underwater,'' Dunn said. "His bat is below [Tim] Wakefield's knuckler speed.''
No pitching staff in the majors has a more diverse collection of hitters than Cincinnati. Micah Owings has a .546 career slugging percentage, and Bronson Arroyo has four career homers. At the other end of the offensive spectrum you'll find Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, who are a combined 10-for-125 (.080) in the majors.
While Dunn never tires of needling pitchers for their offensive shortcomings, he roots for Harang because of his former teammate's sincere efforts to improve. Dunn still recalls Harang's proudly chugging into second base after smoking a double off the Padres' David Wells several years ago.
"He was really digging himself,'' Dunn said. "In my opinion, he would rather go 3-for-3 than throw a complete-game shutout. He works so hard at it. I'm telling you, he's going to hit .350 one of these years. Watch out.''