Re: Did Dunn forget how to walk?
If you look at the relationship between strikeouts, hits, and walks, you'll see that when walks decrease, it doesn't lead to more strikeouts, but rather is an indicator of more balls put in play.
He's not walking because he's putting the ball in play more frequently. While you often hear "OBP driven by batting average" as a bad thing b/c it portends a future OBP decrease due to BA variability, in Dunn's case, this is a good thing. He's already estbalished the ability to walk when he's not hitting for average. However for somebody with his power, the more balls put in play the better. The marginal value of a ball in play over a walk is higher for Dunn than anybody else on the Reds -- and it's reflected in his insane SLG% (.833) right now. The more walks he can turn in to base hits, the better.
I'm curious what the numbers say about a player's ability to improve his contact rate over time. If Dunn didn't swing and miss so much, then you're talking about Manny Ramirez & Albert Pujols territory. I'm just not sure if there is a history of players significantly increasing their contract rate -- I imagine most players who see a decrease in strikeouts experience increased plate discipline.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
Last edited by RedsManRick; 04-17-2006 at 01:11 PM.