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Reds need more hitters like Dunn, not fewer


LRCW
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Hitters like Dunn don't come along all that often. If he's not an elite hitter in the class of Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez, the natural comparisons with past sluggers like Rob Deer and Dave Kingman also are unavailing. At 28, Dunn already has more career homers (251) than Deer (230), and Kingman was an out maker, which Dunn certainly isn't.

Even in the two weakest areas of his game, his left field defense and his strikeouts, Dunn is improving this year. He'll still strike out about 125 times and he'll have his bad days in the field, but Reds fans who fixate on those flaws are missing a pretty good hitter.

The defense still can improve in time. As far as the strikeouts, Dunn produces well more than enough to make up for it. There's so much to like about him as a hitter that it's hard to rationalize the Reds letting him walk as a free agent after this season.

 

Nobody likes to see a lot of strikeouts, but it's part of Dunn's game and they're not going away. Because he's 6-foot-6, he has a big strike zone and there's a lot of room in there for pitchers to get him out. And he runs deep counts looking for pitches he can rip. He's also among the league leaders in walks every year, which is quite an achievement considering the size of his strike zone.

 

One also wants to cut Dunn slack on the strikeouts because he almost never grounds into double plays. From the day he came up in 2001, Dunn has grounded into exactly 52 double plays. Pujols, who also is 28, has grounded into 145 double plays.

 

You can write Dunn down every year for 40 homers, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored. He plays every day. One never hears about him begging out of the lineup against a tough left hander. You don't just send players like this packing, nor do you pretend to a sliver of a chance that you'll receive equal value in a trade.

 

It's true that Dunn is an expensive player to keep, but he's still worth keeping because his skills aren't going to diminish any time soon. He came to the major leagues with old player skills like home run power and strike zone judgement but without young player skills like foot speed. If the Reds lock up Dunn for another five years, they can expect substantially the same player because his skills won't decline.

 

Though discussion about whether the Reds should trade Dunn often is paired with talk about whether they should trade Junior Griffey, their circumstances aren't even approximately the same. Griffey is 38, his game is clearly on the down side and trading him to a contender is the decent act if the Reds don't climb into the race. Plus it's going to cost the Reds another $4 million to keep Griffey through the season, because that's the fee for buying out his $16.5 million option in 2009.

 

Dunn is not, never was and never will be the player Griffey was at 28, and there's certainly no shame in that. But Dunn at 32 will be the same guy as Dunn at 28, which means Dunn at 32 stands to be more productive than Griffey at 32. All of that is a long-winded way of saying that Dunn is worth the commitment of a long-term contract, unlike Griffey at this point.

 

The Reds are a last-place club at the moment, though they're not a terrible last-place club without a prayer. Indeed, as last-place clubs go, they're pretty well positioned. They just have a few problems. Most obviously, the only pitchers they can count on right now are Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez and Coco Cordero.

 

But they're also in a real bad way when it comes to scoring runs. They went through a five-game stretch last week when they scored just 10 times. They won't win like that even if their pitching is good.

 

Only 10 clubs in the major leagues scored fewer runs than the Reds' 225 through May 25. And you certainly can't blame that on Dunn, who led the Reds in homers (13) and RBI (32) while ranking second in runs scored (28).

 

Put a little differently, the Reds need more hitters like Dunn, not fewer. But you can't just go shopping for hitters like Dunn, because they don't come around every day. The Reds should hang on to the one they have.

 

 

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I would challenge any of the detractors to state legit reasons to not keep Dunn.

 

The only one I saw in a previous thread that the Reds would even have to think twice about is him fitting into the budget. I don't buy that since Griffey and his $12M to $16M will be gone very soon.

 

As far as the other excuses offered in the previous thread, someone is going to have to provide more detail than the poor reasons I saw such as :

 

He doesn't hustle: I don't buy it.

He doesn't care about winning: Lame, lame, lame and no basis

The Reds haven't won with him here: Then get rid of Harang as well.

He only hits in streaks: 40,100,100, high SLG, high OBP, makes that one seem absurd

He stinks in the outfield: As someone pointed out, he has an above average LF rating compared to his compadres in the NL.

 

IF anyone believes any of the above and can debate it with actual substance, I'm all ears.

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I would challenge any of the detractors to state legit reasons to not keep Dunn.

 

The only one I saw in a previous thread that the Reds would even have to think twice about is him fitting into the budget. I don't buy that since Griffey and his $12M to $16M will be gone very soon.

 

As far as the other excuses offered in the previous thread, someone is going to have to provide more detail than the poor reasons I saw such as :

 

He doesn't hustle: I don't buy it.

He doesn't care about winning: Lame, lame, lame and no basis

The Reds haven't won with him here: Then get rid of Harang as well.

He only hits in streaks: 40,100,100, high SLG, high OBP, makes that one seem absurd

He stinks in the outfield: As someone pointed out, he has an above average LF rating compared to his compadres in the NL.

 

IF anyone believes any of the above and can debate it with actual substance, I'm all ears.

I think you went a bit far with that one. He's average at best in the outfield. I won't argue with the rest, but that one is silly.

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I think you went a bit far with that one. He's average at best in the outfield. I won't argue with the rest, but that one is silly.

 

 

You can argue it all you want, but the rating system they use proves otherwise. :p

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I think you went a bit far with that one. He's average at best in the outfield. I won't argue with the rest, but that one is silly.

 

I don't know your situation and your ability to watch every outfielder in the NL. I just know I don't have the time. Therefore, I choose to rely on actual numbers such as the one provided below which shows that The Donkey has a higher defensive rating than the average LFer in the NL.

 

http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/dunnad01.shtml

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You can't replace his offensive output and I will be the first to admit that I can't enjoy when he does something good, because I continue to look at all the flaws. I know that's my problem.

 

With that said, IF the Reds go with a 5 year contract in the neighborhood of 60 million, his contract would become an albatross to this team, much like Griffey's has since his arrival. I will gladly admit if I'm proven wrong, but that's how I see it.

 

Actually, the more I think about it. Dunn could ask for and probably get around 80 million for a long contract. Let's just see if the Reds are stupid enough to pay that.

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You can't replace his offensive output and I will be the first to admit that I can't enjoy when he does something good, because I continue to look at all the flaws. I know that's my problem.

 

With that said, IF the Reds go with a 5 year contract in the neighborhood of 60 million, his contract would become an albatross to this team, much like Griffey's has since his arrival. I will gladly admit if I'm proven wrong, but that's how I see it.

 

 

How is your most productive offensive player's contract going to become an albatross? You sound more like a Cubs fan who is worried that the Reds will keep Dunn for 5 more years. :sssh::D

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With that said, IF the Reds go with a 5 year contract in the neighborhood of 60 million, his contract would become an albatross to this team, much like Griffey's has since his arrival. I will gladly admit if I'm proven wrong, but that's how I see it.

 

Actually, the more I think about it. Dunn could ask for and probably get around 80 million for a long contract. Let's just see if the Reds are stupid enough to pay that.

 

 

Do you feel that A. Ramirez's contract with the Cubs is an albatross? Were the Cubs stupid to pay him what he's making?

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How is your most productive offensive player's contract going to become an albatross? You sound more like a Cubs fan who is worried that the Reds will keep Dunn for 5 more years. :sssh::D

 

Cubs may not be able to close the deal in the postseason, but they have actually made the playoffs this century. As a Cubs fan, I'm more worried about Voltron, Harang, Phillips, Votto, Bruce. Dunn is far, far down on that list.

 

While you can't put all the blame on Dunn for the Reds not having a winning season in goodness knows how long, he deserves part of the blame.

 

I believe the stat that was brought up on the radio is that Dunn is a career .220 hitter with runners in scoring position.

 

I think the Cubs were stupid for the length of the contract to Soriano, I think he was worth the money. While, he may be worse than Dunn on defense, he is more than a strikeout/homerun guy. I don't care how many walks Dunn gets. It's either one or other with him. I think Ramirez was worth the money.

 

The good/bad thing with the Cubs and teams willing to spend is that one stupid contract isn't going to sink the ship. The Reds were handcuffed with the Griffey contract, had no room for error in regards to other signings and we have seen how that has worked out. If they sign Dunn to an 80 million dollar contract, they won't have a winning season while he is a Reds uniform.

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Cubs may not be able to close the deal in the postseason, but they have actually made the playoffs this century. As a Cubs fan, I'm more worried about Voltron, Harang, Phillips, Votto, Bruce. Dunn is far, far down on that list.

 

While you can't put all the blame on Dunn for the Reds not having a winning season in goodness knows how long, he deserves part of the blame.

 

I believe the stat that was brought up on the radio is that Dunn is a career .220 hitter with runners in scoring position.

 

I think the Cubs were stupid for the length of the contract to Soriano, I think he was worth the money. While, he may be worse than Dunn on defense, he is more than a strikeout/homerun guy. I don't care how many walks Dunn gets. It's either one or other with him. I think Ramirez was worth the money.

 

Who says Cubs fans don't know baseball?

 

I think this post proves that its an issue of style vs substance. We have a fan complaining that despite his ability to get on base and produce runs, he's the reason the Reds haven't made the playoffs and he either strikes out or hits home runs. His numbers say otherwise but, again, perception....

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Who says Cubs fans don't know baseball?

 

I think this post proves that its an issue of style vs substance. We have a fan complaining that despite his ability to get on base and produce runs, he's the reason the Reds haven't made the playoffs and he either strikes out or hits home runs. His numbers say otherwise but, again, perception....

 

I simply said he is part of the reason and I said above that my anger with him clouds the good things he does. Fact is, for all the good things he does, he doesn't seem to do the little things to drive the runs in with 2 outs and runners in scoring position.

 

How many sac flys does Dunn have?

 

While you could pick apart ANY great player, it's those little things that really bother me. He has no desire to make himself any better, he is happy just staying the same. That's what bothers me, because he could likely be even better and just doesn't seem to care.

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He has no desire to make himself any better, he is happy just staying the same. That's what bothers me, cause he could likely be even better and just doesn't seem to care.

 

 

How in the world can you say that? Are you with Dunn 24/7? Are you with him and the hitting coach during all of his extra hitting sessions? What in the world are you basing your judgment of Dunn on?

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While you could pick apart ANY great player, it's those little things that really bother me. He has no desire to make himself any better, he is happy just staying the same. That's what bothers me, because he could likely be even better and just doesn't seem to care.

 

How in the world do you justify the above comment that he has no desire to get better? Next you're going to say he doesn't care about winning, right?

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Just found this article and found this stat. Since baseball loves its stats.

 

As of 2005, Dunn had 8, I will repeat that, EIGHT sac flys in 2,450 plate appearances.

 

EIGHT!!

 

My math is bad, but that basically translates to 1-2 sac flys a year. Way to go Dunner, that is worth 90 million right there.

 

As of 2005, he had a batting average of .205 with runners in scoring position. That is downright awful.

 

Does this mean he doesn't work on things and try and get better? Of course not, but it does tell you that whatever he is doing or not doing ISN'T working. Hard to not have the perception of him as a lazy player with stats like that.

 

http://www.publicradio.org/columns/kpcc/baseball/2005/07/the_art_of_the.html

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Just found this article and found this stat. Since baseball loves its stats.

 

As of 2005, Dunn had 8, I will repeat that, EIGHT sac flys in 2,450 plate appearances.

 

EIGHT!!

 

My math is bad, but that basically translates to 1-2 sac flys a year. Way to go Dunner, that is worth 90 million right there.

 

As of 2005, he had a batting average of .205 with runners in scoring position. That is downright awful.

 

Does this mean he doesn't work on things and try and get better? Of course not, but it does tell you that whatever he is doing or not doing ISN'T working. Hard to not have the perception of him as a lazy player with stats like that.

 

http://www.publicradio.org/columns/kpcc/baseball/2005/07/the_art_of_the.html

 

 

 

So let me get this straight. A low number of Sac Flies (albeit only ONE way to score a run) indicates a player is lazy? Is that what you're trying to say?

 

Again, style vs substance. Do I care how he knocks in AND scores runs? No. Are you telling me I should?

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