Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big Donkey Hit Ball Far

Recently, I found a cool website, HitTracker, that measures the true distance and other stats for every home run hit in the majors over the course of each season. It's fun to surf around and see who hit the farthest and highest home runs and other cool stuff. What sticks out to me is Adam "Big Donkey" Dunn. Dunn leads the majors currently, with 30 home runs, which is no surprise to any baseball fan who has seen the big guy's numbers. What's notable is that according to the website, he has hit 15 no doubt home runs. This is 5 more than second-best Carlos Delgado and almost 10 more than everybody else, in both leagues. Also, Dunn leagues the majors in farthest average distance, with an average of 412.3 ft. per home run. Wow. That means that the average Adam Dunn home run is going to be out at most any ball park to all fields. Delgado is the only other player in the average distance top 5 with atleast 15 homers. Basically, when Dunn hits the ball, he puts it into orbit almost everytime. Look for him to keep pace and then some in the second half, unlike Brian McCann and Ramon Hernandez, who lead their respective leagues in lucky homers.

Adam Dunn has been in trade rumors for the past few years and no one is really sure if or when the Reds will move Dunn to a contender. This year is no different, Dunn is surfacing in rumors all over. I've read about Dunn for Manny Ramirez swaps at Baseball Analysts, and about him possibly being the most underrated player in the game at UmpBump. As UmpBump mentions, he is a paradox because his batting average is routinely horrendous, however his on-base percentage and slugging percentage are always great. Add in massive amounts of massive home runs and he is a truly interesting player.

With such an active trading season, and so many moving pieces, I wonder would I rather:

Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez? -- With comparable defense, OBP and SLG, I'd take Dunn for his chemistry, age, and power. All three of which are getting worse in Manny's case.

Adam Dunn or Mark Teixeira? -- Teix is only a year younger and doesn't bring nearly as much power. If I've got a gaping 4 or 5 hole in my lineup, I'll take Dunn's added power or Teix's higher batting average everyday. If I need a 3 hitter, I want the consistent average. But how many contenders don't already have an established 3 hitter?

It begs the question as to why more teams aren't after "Big Donkey" Dunn, and to be honest, I can't understand it. Take at look at these contending line-ups after acquiring Dunn (doesn't show what they'd have to give up to get him and only the meat of the orders):

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Dunn, Pat Burrell -- This would be devastating for opposing pitchers. Howard, Dunn, Burrell, would be a murderer's row of HR/K hitters.

Mets: Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Adam Dunn, Carlos Delgado -- Good thing Dunn isn't Latino or I would have something to worry about.

Dodgers: Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Adam Dunn, Andre Ethier, James Loney, Jeff Kent -- A very solid lineup, and Dunn is the home run threat they badly need.

Yanks: Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez, Adam Dunn, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano, Xavier Nady -- Now there aren't any weak spots here. They've certainly got prospects to get it done should they show interest and commitment.

Those are some scary line-ups without Dunn, but with him things really get dangerous. I'm curious to see if anyone will wise up and make a move for the slugger.

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