In response to Mitch’s post about Dunn, sorry folks, I’m not seeing Dunn as a second-round pick almost no matter what he does. First, here are his career highs:
.266, 46 HR, 102 RBI, 19 SB, 107 runs
IF he did that in one season, yes, he’d probably be a second-rounder. Problem is, there’s far too much recent evidence to suggest the will be pressed to reach any of those numbers this year, much less all of them. Check out his career trends on some key indicators:
* Not only is the AVG trend going in the wrong direction, he is indeed getting sufficient at-bats for it to hurt. A composite .249 over the past three seasons – in an average of 557 at-bats – is going to hurt your batting average. Among all MLB batting qualifiers in 2006, only Clint Barmes and Brad Ausmus had a lower batting average. How many HR’s would it take for you to want those guys on your team? Bottom line is Dunn is an AVG killer, period.
* Not only is the HR trend going in the wrong direction, so is his slugging percentage. And it’s not just that fewer singles are falling in: "PA/X" is the ratio of total plate appearances to extra-base hits… Dunn just isn’t hitting for as much power, period.
(Remember also that less power means fewer RBI’s, too. That and the fact that the Reds Opening Day lineup will probably have Dunn batting second, which surely won’t help the RBI count, either.)
* He’s stolen fewer bases in the last three years than he did in all of 2002, and that looks like a gigantic fluke. Check out the ATT% column, which is the percentage of times Dunn attempted a steal when on first via a single, walk or hit-by-pitch. No doubt that number is heavily dependent on a number of variables, but what’s telling is that it has been essentially flat for the last three years… Dunn just isn’t stealing as many bases any more, period.
(Bob Boone was the manager in 2002-03 when Dunn did his most running. Dave Miley and Jerry Narron have shut that down.)
* Dunn’s OBP is dropping, and it’s not just the lower average dragging it down. Check out EYE (BB/SO) and P/PA (pitches per plate appearance)… Dunn’s plate discipline spiked somewhat in 2005, but other than that it’s been flat or declining for the last four seasons. He’s not just getting fewer hits, he’s getting on base less often, period. And that means fewer runs, too.
I’m not alone in sharing my skepticism about Dunn this year, Here is his average projection for 2007 from the five sources I used this year:
.254, 40 HR, 97 RBI, 101 runs, 5 SB
If Mitch wants to point to the fact that Dunn is a 27-year-old in a contract year in a favorable hitter’s park, that’s fine by me. And Dunn has maintained his fly-ball swing, which should keep the HR total up. But Mitch is putting a lot of faith in very few selling points when there’s a lot more evidence pointing to this being a bad pick, period.
A fourth-rounder, maybe. A fifth-rounder, sure. But not in the second.