School was cancelled today. So I hear I am with all this time on my hands. I was excited about my first day of student teaching, so I decided to put this unused energy to work. Last year and worse in the year preceding, I was an avid Dunn basher. However, after realizing theres more to a baseball game then just watching it, I started to take back these statements. So now I am trying to make up for my ignorance and provide some stats that could prove useful in the future.
The other day, Reds44, advocated for Dunn hitting second for most of next year. I recalled Dunn having some success in that hole, but I figured his success was limited in only a few at bats. However, I do realize that batting order is something that goes overlooked. Playing baseball for as long as I have, certain players just hit better in certain places in the lineup. I could hit the tar off the ball in the second hole, but couldnt hit for nothing leading off. I wondered why this was and in this analysis I attempted to see if Dunn truly found a home at the two spot. My investigation brought up some seriously interesting points. I'd rather not have this thread sprial down into a Dunn bashing, so please refrain but sarcasm is welcome haha.
The question I would like to pose is Dunn better off in the 2 hole, 5 hole, 4th hole, or 3rd hole? Dunn batted some in the 6th hole but the sample size is extremely small and irrelevant I think. I will also remind you that my data was compiled by going through Gameday and apt to be wrong in several areas. However, on the whole, it is correct. I crossreferenced Dunn's various batting positions with Hits, At Bats, K, HR, and BB. I chose these stats since this is what Dunn does the most and what we criticize or praise him for the most too.
Adam Dunn (2006 Season)
AB H BB HR K
2 Hole 108 39 11 6 41
5 Hole 184 37 41 10 63
4-Hole 164 36 32 11 63
3-Hole 67 18 13 9 27
AVG BB/PA HR/AB SO/AB
2 Hole .361 .0924 .055 .379
5 Hole .201 .182 .038 .342
4 Hole .219 .162 .054 .381
3 Hole .268 .162 .134 .402
Well theres the data. Obviously, his September and August statistics were awful. In September, he batted .137 mostly out of the cleanup spot thanks to Griffeys toe. However, I don't know how much of his downward sprial can be attributed to his spot in the batting order or his fatigue. He very rarely had a day off throughout the entire season. An off the cuff speculation is that he just needs a day off every 2 weeks instead of once a month. But like I said that is just speculation.
Back to the data, it is obvious Dunn's strong suit is the 2 hole. His batting average explains so, but if your not into those things he does hit homeruns at the same clip. However, he walked gradually less then in the other spots in the batting order. This could be because he was pitched to more often of course. But when he was pitched too, he surely didn't waste his opportunities. At first collection, I thought because Dunn saw more pitches that he would strike out actually more often. However, he actually struck out pretty much at the same clip as the other batting spots. I think the most glaring problem is that he batted almost below the Mendoza line in the 5th hole. The very spot where Narron batted him the most this past year. He walked more frequently and struck out less, but he hit homers at a slower rate. Walking is all well and good but it is dependent on the hitter behind you. In this case, Dunn would be getting on base for 6, 7 and 8 hitters. Compared to the 3 4 and 5 hitter when he is batted second. However, he walks less in the 2 hole, but does hit for a high average.
An intriguing spot is the 3 hole since it seems to be the best of both worlds, but Dunn only had 67 plate apperances there. These at bats mostly took place when Griffey was on the DL in April and early May.
Finally, I'll leave the data for everyone to discuss. It seems to me that the proper spot in the batting order is the 2 hole. I know many have discussed Hatteberg in there instead with Dunn hitting somewhere 3rd or 4th. One thing is for certain though, Dunn should not be hitting 5th. Not to mention, batting him cleanup isn't the best thing either.
If I had to make a quick stab at the lineup. It would be: