Adam Dunn; The Most Interesting Player In MLB History

Posted by Noah Wright on

By: Noah Wright


Adam Dunn is one of the most interesting men to play in the MLB. He was the definition of the three true outcomes, was one of the most powerful players during his time, and also created some of the strangest statlines ever. This is the most interesting facts about the former big league slugger known as Adam Dunn.

The Best Offense Is The Worst Defense:

During 2009, Adam Dunn was one of the best batters in the MLB. He finished the season with a .267/.398/.529 batting line, crushed 38 home runs, and was 13th in wRC+ with 142. Plus, he carried around his trademark high strikeout, but high walk rate as well. Though Dunn was a top 15 batter during the season, he was the worst defender in the MLB, by a lot. Between 1B, LF and RF, Dunn was worth a whopping total of -43 DRS. That resulted in a -5.2 dWAR. Dunn was so bad at defense, it outweighed his offensive production, and he finished the year with a -.4 bWAR, despite having such great batting numbers. Dunn was basically what happens if you put a 99 overall player out of position in MLB 19 The Show.

The Gold Glove Candidate:

Adam Dunn signed on with the White Sox after 2010. He signed a 4 year deal worth $56 million. That contract included a $25,000 incentive if he were to win a Gold Glove. Yes, the man who despite finishing with a 142 wRC+, and .928 OPS with 38 long balls had a negative WAR because that’s how bad his offense was just 2 seasons prior, had a $25 thousand bonus if he were to win a gold glove. (You can learn more about this clause in Dawson’s video “WEIRDEST MLB Contract Clauses Ever!”).

Adam Dunn; The Speed Demon:

Back in 2002, Dunn was a fresh face to the MLB. It was just his second season in the MLB, and his first full season. Dunn that season stole a grand total of 19 bases. Throughout his career, Dunn had 63 total stolen bases, so about 30.2% of all his career stolen bases came in the second year of Dunn’s career.

Your Conventional Lead-Off Hitter:

Dunn isn’t your typical leadoff hitter. He isn’t super fast, nor was he hitting .300. However, the Reds were without a true leadoff hitter in 2003. Dunn was almost a perfect solution. The season prior, though he struck out 170 times, he walked a grand total of 123 times. He carried a .400 OBP for ‘02. However, Dunn had smacked 26 long balls, and hit 28 doubles during ‘02. This caused the Reds to leave him in the middle of the line-up since he was likely more valuable driving in runs, rather than getting on base.

Legendary Company:

Throughout Reds history, 3 players have reached 100 walks, 100 RBI’s, and 100 runs scored plateau in a single season. This includes HOF second baseman Joe Morgan, likey HOF 1B Joey Votto, and none other than the man, Adam Dunn. Dunn actually reached the 100 mark in all those categories in a single season twice. Once in 2004, and again in 2005.

Three True Outcomes:

Before Joey Gallo, and the era of striking out, walking, or hitting a homerun, there was Adam Dunn. Out of the 14 years Dunn was in the bigs, Dunn had at least 38 home runs, 75 walks, and 164 strikeouts in 9 seasons. He has a career strikeout rate of 28.6%, but a career walk rate of 15.8%. Nearly 30% (28.3% to be exact) of Dunn’s 1631 hits were home runs. Hell, he nearly had as many walks than hits (1317 walks).

So Powerful, He Hit A Ball Into Another State:

We all know the kind of legendary power Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron possesed. However, neither had such a feat like Adam Dunn. On August 10th, 2004, Dunn launched a ball out of the Reds’ home park. After the ball left the stadium, the ball bounced another 200 feet, and hit a piece of driftwood in the Ohio River. When it did hit the driftwood, the ball crossed the state line, and was then in Kentucky.


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