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January 25, 2012

Adam Dunn: "I Don't Want to Make Excuses"

In 2010, Adam Dunn hit 38 homers...running his career total to 354.

How good is that?  Try this on for size.  In Major League history, only Albert Pujols (408), Eddie Mathews (370) and Ralph Kiner (370) were more prolific through their first ten season.

Heck, there was a time when Dunn was looking to tie Babe Ruth to become the only players to have seven straight seasons with 40 or more home runs.

But, thanks to a dismal 2011, all that is in the past.  The promise of a great career was forgotten thanks to a .159 batting average, 11 homers, 42 RBI and 177 strikeouts.

“Everything I’ve done my entire life has been discredited by one stupid year,’’ Dunn told the Chicago Sun-Times.  “I don’t want to make excuses. There are a few things that I probably look back on and say, ‘I shouldn’t have done this or that,’ a few things I probably would have done a little differently, but it’s over with. I can’t take it back. I don’t want to say anything that would sound like excuses.’’

So, that begs the question...just how bad was Dunn's inaugural season on Chicago's Southside?

I mean, not only did the "Big Donkey" have the worst hitting season this year, but he also had, arguably, worst hitting season in the history of the planet.

He became the second person ever to have a lower batting average number (.159) than strikeout number (177).  The guy was so anemic at the plate...he hit below David Eckstein's listed playing weight (170).

Dunn's average was not only the all-time low for anyone who had 400-plus at bats, but it's also 20 points lower than anyone since 1900. The next closest was Rob Deer's .179 in 1991...but, Deer at least banged out 25 homers.

The Slugging Dunn had two fewer home runs (11) than White Sox teammate Brent Lillibridge.  In 280 fewer plate appearances!

Just by comparison the second lowest batting average in 2011 for someone with 400 or more at bats was Vernon Wells at .218. That means that Dunn didn't even come within 55 points of the game's next worst hitter.

As if the .159 number didn't stand out enough, hit up Baseball Reference and take a look at some of his splits. 
  • .149 batting average at home
  • .115 batting average when he also played the field
  • .115 batting average when batting fifth in the lineup
  • .103 batting average with RISP and two out
  • .084 batting average in the 7th-9th innings
  • .075 (20-264) with two strikes on him
  • .064 (6-94) versus lefties
If nothing else though at least he was consistent.  Dude hit .160 before the All-Star break and .158 after.  And if you're keeping track...he only hit over.160 in one month.  Dunn hit a robust .204 in May.

So...suck on that one, critics!

***A big thanks to stats maven Mike Garrigan for tabulating Dunn's futility.***


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, THE worst hitting season I've ever seen by an otherwise proven MLBer.
And what's even worse: you had to see his at bats to know just how awful he was. Many at bats, he couldn't even manage a foul ball.
And from his previous 10 years' record, without any doubt, the biggest unexpected decline, in a presumably healthy player, ever in the history of the MLB.