You know, over the past few years, I've always felt the ONE issue that gets widely ignored at RZ is Adam Dunn's value to the organization. So, I thought I'd start a thread on it to see if any quality discussion could be generated
OK, I'll cease with the sarcastic tone....
Seriously, I am amazed at how the "Dunn argument" polarizes the fanbase. It's truly quite interesting.
I have waffled on this issue so many times, and I think I've finally come to a conclusion. First, a few points:
--Adam Dunn is "good." Of that, there is no doubt. The question is whether or not he's "pretty good, really good, great, or a cornerstone."
--I also have no doubt that some of the criticism tossed his way is just a residual effect of playing for a lousy team. When a team stinks, like the Reds have during Dunn's career, it becomes natural to point fingers-- sometimes, those fingers get pointed in the wrong direction.
--He has definitely been mis-used in terms of line-up placement throughout his career.
Now, that that is out of the way....
I have decided that I would be ACTIVELY trying to trade Adam Dunn, and here's why:
--I am NOT saying that Adam Dunn is not "clutch." But one thing I can't grasp is that how at this point in his career his AB's are still so unpredictable. There seems to be no difference in his approach, no consistency to his results. If the Reds are down 3-2 in the 9th and Dunn comes to bat with a runner on base, I am not thinking, "well, Dunn isn't clutch, so this game is over." What I AM thinking is that I have NO idea what he's going to do. He could hit one 600 feet or he could flail wildly at look miserable doing so.
IMO, in order for me to consider someone a "star" or a cornerstone, I have to at least get the feeling that the player is going to produce a high quality at bat/approach the majority of the time.
I know many people here don't view the strikeout as a big deal, but what bothers me is this.....
Dunn sets K records like they are going out of style. Right now, he has FIFTEEN more K's than the player in the NL with the second most K's. It bothers me that there is NO improvement in this area from Dunn. I understand-- he's a bopper and he gets on base-- and with that comes a higher K rate. OK, no problem. But a K rate THIS high with seemingly NO improvement from season to season? That bothers me.
His RBI numbers have improved this year, but in the past, I don't think his production has matched his "potential." Again, RBI's have become one of those "grey are" statistics, but they still have some merit to me. If you have runners on first and second with two outs in the 9th, sometimes drawing a walk is NOT the best thing-- assuming of course there were some hittable pitches in the AB.
I guess in the end, my biggest "problem" with Dunn is that I believe he has reached his ceiling. And I think his ceiling is one of a borderline all-star. His defense doesn't help him any. Borderline all-stars are good to have, no doubt. You can win a lot of games with rosters full of Adam Dunn type players.
But for the Reds, I think Dunn has run his course. I certainly would not give him away. But I would ABSOLUTELY be shopping him to any team that wanted to part with a good pitching prospect-- preferrably one on the cusp of the majors-- not a major project.
I would NOT be saying this if I felt Dunn was a star or was a potential star. As others have pointed out, his 3 RBI's in Sept. last year was far from star-worthy.
Adam Dunn is a good player. We should use that "goodness" to help bolster the farm.