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Thread: Dusty on Dunn

  1. #1
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    Dusty on Dunn

    This has been discussed as nauseam in the ORG, most recently in the "Liking Dusty More Every Day..." thread, so I thought I would throw my two cents in and see if anyone else in the Sun Deck has any thoughts.

    The discussion is about Dusty trying to get Dunn to be more aggressive at the plate.

    Many are saying that Dunn does not need to be more aggressive, that he does not take too many pitches, and JoJo seems to have stats to back that up.

    I am an ex-college hitting coach, so I am somewhat qualified to talk about hitters' approaches to hitting. This is my take on Dunn.
    First, all the stats that JoJo provided are pretty much meaningless, however thorough they are. The only issue is what pitches Dunn is taking, not how many, or how many compared to others. It is a problem if he is taking pitches that he can drive, and swinging at those he can't. RMR is somewhat correct when he says that that the key is pitch recognition, but he doesn't seem to fully grasp what that means.
    Pitch recognition is not about being able to tell a strike from a ball, which Dunn is very good at (actually too good at), but being able to determine which pitches you can drive vs. which ones you can't. Sometimes pitches you can drive are ones that will be called balls, and some that you can't will be called strikes. A hitters should swing at the pitches they can drive whether they are strikes or not, and either not swing at the pitches that will be called balls, or try to foul off those will be called strikes.
    Dunn's two main problems are that he is so concerned with only swinging at strikes that he lets go many pitches that he could drive, but he thinks will be called balls, and he is not very good at fouling off strikes that he can't drive.
    This will result in exactly the numbers that Dunn puts up. Strikes out a lot, walks a lot, but crushes the balls he does put into play.
    So Dusty is correct that Dunn needs to be more aggressive, as there are may pitches that Dunn sees that he can crush, but that he thinks are balls. This is especially true for power hitters. I think we all can agree that a guy as strong as Dunn should trying to drive every ball that he think he can, and not thinking about walks at all. I think that unfortunately, Dunn has bought into the notion that knowing the strike zone is more important that crushing every ball that you can.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    And Dunn has a huge strike zone. So pitches that are balls are farther away relative to where he can hit them well. It takes longer to hit a ball farther away from the middle and he needs to recognize it earlier. If you have Dunn swinging at pitches he can't hit well, he's going to be getting into a worse count more often and lead to worse results. There are probably "strikes" he can't hit very well because there's so much room to cover.

    Having Dunn change his approach is a huge risk. We don't know how he will respond. Dunn is a very valuable hitter, and is a marginal benefit worth the risk of making him much, much worse? I don't think it is.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    While I agree with your statements 7, I also buy into MLB more. He is what he is, and what he IS is Very Very Good, IMO.

    I think he took a huge step forward last year, and improved his BA, and lowered his K rate. Whatever HE was doing was working.

    I could care less if he "drives more balls" than he currently does, if it is going to mess with his approach, and ultimately lead to less productive stats - HR, RBI, walks, and overall OPS.

    Dusty is not a stats guy, and if he was, he would realize that NOBODY is going to pitch to Dunn if they don't have to. I bet he never asked Barry Bonds to "be more aggresive".

    If there is a guy on first base and no outs, sure, they are going to pitch to him. If there's a guy on 2nd or 3rd (nobody on first) and one or two outs - they are going to BARELY pitch to him. He is going to get walked more times than not. IF this is where Dusty thinks he should "be more aggressive" and try to drive the runs in, it's going to end up with an out more times than necessary. Putting him at 1st does "CLOG UP THE BASES", but that is a good thing - in and of itself. The problem is when he's batting 5th and has a struggling EE behind him, who is going to hit into a double-play or make an out putting Agon up with two outs.

    IMO Dunn should be batting 3rd, to take advantage of this. Instead, he has openly stated that "BP should be batting 3rd, ideally". Of course, why get a guy who might extend an inning versus a guy who might hit into a DP or strike-out, but SURELY won't "clog up the bases"

    PEACE

    -BLEEDS
    I think that in a year or two, one of these guys - Frazier, Dorn, Valaika, Cumberland, Stubbs - will be ready to replace Dunn. They won't hit as many home runs as Dunn, but they should have similar OPS. - 757690, July 22, 2008

    Alonso will be playing 1B for the REDS and batting 4th one year from today. - Kingspoint, July 9, 2009

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Also about BP hitting in front of Dunn.....which I've said many times

    BP will have a very low OBP, and will ground into many DP. What that does is increase the chance Dunn gets up with 0 on base. You Dunn to hit HRs with men on base, and putting him 5th effectively makes him a leadoff hitter for many, many ABs. The problem is the production behind him sucks after he walks. BP is going to be hitting 1st at least once a game, and he makes an out 78% of the time. If Dunn hits 3rd, the chance a runner is on base increases since 2 men have a chance (who have higher OBP, if its constucted properly (Patterson /= leadoff)) to get on base.

    When the opening day lineup comes out, I'm going to construct my lineup and see the difference in R/G using Pinto's lineup estimator. I'll use both projected stats and stats from last year.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Quote Originally Posted by mlbfan30 View Post
    When the opening day lineup comes out, I'm going to construct my lineup and see the difference in R/G using Pinto's lineup estimator. I'll use both projected stats and stats from last year.
    Don't do that to yourself man, you might end up a disheartened, disenfranchised, grumpy old stat guy.

    Good news? That might make you eligible for the ORG!!

    PEACE

    -BLEEDS
    I think that in a year or two, one of these guys - Frazier, Dorn, Valaika, Cumberland, Stubbs - will be ready to replace Dunn. They won't hit as many home runs as Dunn, but they should have similar OPS. - 757690, July 22, 2008

    Alonso will be playing 1B for the REDS and batting 4th one year from today. - Kingspoint, July 9, 2009

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    I think the difference will be somewhere between 2-3 Wins.

    And for non-stat guys, thats A LOT

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    I used to think that changing Dunn's swing would be a mistake for all the reasons stated above, but the more I think about it, the more I think it is needed.
    Here's why.

    Dunn's approach is that of a leadoff or number 2 hitter. He takes lots of pitches and draws lots of walks. However, Dunn should not be the Reds #2 hitter, because the Reds need him to be that feared hitter in the middle of the lineup, and he has the ability to be that, if he changes his approach.

    While it would be best to leadoff with Dunn or have him hit second, that would leave the Reds without a big slugger in the middle of the lineup. I think everyone agrees that a power hitter in the 3-5 spot is essential, and Dunn is currently the only one he Reds have. Maybe Votto, Phillips or EE will develop into that, but until they do, Dunn is needed in the middle of the lineup.

    But the problem is that Dunn does not have the right approach to be a middle of the lineup power hitter. The key to being a middle of the lineup hitter is the ability to get hits with runners on base. All good middle of the lineup guys will get their share of walks, by virtue of being pitched around. Even Vlad Guerrero, who will swing at anything he can see, had 72 walks last year. But the good, valuable middle of the lineup hitters will get hits in those situations, because that is their job. Walks are good, but with runners on base, hits are much better. Even Baseball Prospectus, the bible of OBP and walks, agrees with that.

    So the real value a middle of the lineup power hitter has, is in the rate at which he gets hits with runners on base. Dunn's rate of getting hits with runners on base is horrible. He gets a hit 18.7% of the time that runners are on base, and 16.5% of the time with RISP. To put that in perspective, the average rate for power hitters in the NL Central was 25.2% RISP and 24.3% MOB. On the Reds, Phillips had a 25.2% MOB and a 23.4% RISP. Griffey was close to Dunn with a 17.8% RISP in 2008, but was more normal with MOB, 24.7%. Jr.'s career rate is 24.8% MOB and 22.9% RISP.
    The only power hitter I could find that was as bad as Dunn was Bonds the years after he hit his 73 Homers, but he was averaging close to 100 more walks than Dunn, so it really was more a fact that he wasn't being pitched to at all with MOB.

    So while Dunn puts up nice numbers, a high OBP (driven by his walks) and a high SLG (driven by his HR), when it counts, he is not able to deliver that valuable hit. If he is to be a middle of the lineup power hitter for the Reds, he needs to be more aggressive and get more hits with MOB and RISP, just like Dusty said. Otherwise, he should hit in the #2 slot, but the Reds don't have that luxury.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Put him in front of 2 high OBP guys, and then when he hits HRs they will actually score more runs. Him hitting behind BP is like him hitting leadoff all the time.

    What numbers do you think Dunn will have if he does what you say.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    I think the only thing Dunn should be trying to do this season is cut down on his strikouts. With runners in scoring position, at the end of the game, your only thought should be advancing the runners. if you hit it out of the park...great. However hitting it to the right side and scoring the run from 3rd, or a sac fly is very productive as well.

    I would love to see Dunn hit 10 less homeruns but have 30 more RBI's than last season.
    Not this year...maybe a Wild Card

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Dusty is an idiot.
    Who's on first?

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Quote Originally Posted by ChatterRed View Post
    Dusty is an idiot.

    Ha ha I know this post is kind of stupid but it just sums things up so well for me. Kudos!

    I'm off to go clog the streets with traffic. It's the only way to get home.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Quote Originally Posted by ChatterRed View Post
    Dusty is an idiot.
    Yeah he is an idiot who has been a 3 time manager of the year and who instantly gained the respect of the players. All I have to know about Dusty is that he pulled Dunn and Griffey into his office and told them they had to work hard in the spring to set an example. He is a total moron.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfanmia View Post
    Yeah he is an idiot who has been a 3 time manager of the year and who instantly gained the respect of the players. All I have to know about Dusty is that he pulled Dunn and Griffey into his office and told them they had to work hard in the spring to set an example. He is a total moron.
    Insert his time with the Chicago Cubs anywhere in this paragraph. And "clogging up the bases." And leading off and batting 2nd guys like Neifi Perez and Cory Patterson. Veteran scrappiness, etc...

    "Players managers" are great. When they can actually manage. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now but it is hard to ignore the completely idiotic things he says. With that being said there are a lot of really bad managers (including Jerry Narron who was considered a players manager too) out there. I'm available. But teams won't return my calls. Jerks.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Quote Originally Posted by CWRed View Post
    Insert his time with the Chicago Cubs anywhere in this paragraph. And "clogging up the bases." And leading off and batting 2nd guys like Neifi Perez and Cory Patterson. Veteran scrappiness, etc...

    "Players managers" are great. When they can actually manage. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now but it is hard to ignore the completely idiotic things he says. With that being said there are a lot of really bad managers (including Jerry Narron who was considered a players manager too) out there. I'm available. But teams won't return my calls. Jerks.
    Did he or did he not lead the Cubs to the brink of the World Series for the first time since 1945? The guy is the best manager we have had here since Davy Johnson or Lou Pinellia.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    Re: Dusty on Dunn

    Dunn will have a huge year and the Reds will be a lot better than last year.


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