Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Should your team trade for Adam Dunn?

Check out the stats here: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6763

Adam Dunn is one of my favorite baseball players. I like guys who either hit home runs or strike out. That pretty much sums up Dunn, a 21st century Rob Deer. But if you're a major league general manage, you're not trying to keep me entertained, you're trying to get to the playoffs. So columnists weigh in on the issue, mostly commenting on his strikeouts or home runs. But which stat is more important?

There are new, trendy stats like VORP (value over replacement player). According to Baseball Prospectus, Dunn is 44th out of 753 ranked players. To compare, likely All Star Carlos Lee (El Caballo!!!!) is ranked 71st.

That being said, he hits a LOT worse away from the Great American Ballpark (home of the Cincinnati Reds). If you're trading for him, you better be the Pirates GM. I think he'll do worse post trade, especially if he goes to the American League. (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6763/splits;_ylt=Av6i_I4nZx3xj5Vm4bPEugqFCLcF)

Maybe he is better than Rob Deer. If I needed someone to get me in the playoffs, I'd get him (he produces more runs than the average player). But in the playoffs, his high strikeout rate would be a liability (remember, pitchers on playoff teams tend to be better than pitchers on inferior teams). I wouldn't take him (I wouldn't want a high strikeout player in my lineup).


Tom said...

Kenneth, an out is an out. A strikeout is generally no worse than any other out and is substantially better than hitting into a double play, which Carlos Lee does a lot. The problem in regard to hitting is in making too many outs of all kinds, which is why the Stros overall are not a good hitting team -- they have too many players who make too many outs (Ausmus, Everett, Biggio, etc). Dunn may not be a good fit for the Stros (his natural position is 1st base, which is also true for Berkman and Lee), but striking out too much is not one of them.

local_doc said...

An out is not an out. The Yankees won 4 titles in 5 years because they had guys who made contact. The inability to lay down a sac bunt or sac fly will come back on you in October.

My contention is that Dunn is the type of guy who over a 162 game season will produce runs, but his propensity for strikeouts will catch up to him and his team in the postseason. I could be wrong, given that Reggie Jackson struck out a lot and hit a lot of Home runs in post season play.

The other part that I find interesting is that people who argue this don't usually use VORP type stats. That's how EL CABALLO!!!! gets $100 million for bad defense while Dunn probably won't.