Adam Dunn is a Statistical Marvel


Adam Dunn is a statistical marvel. The only other player that has as many statistical anomalies is Juan Pierre. And the weird thing is that they are polar opposites as hitters. Dunn has a low contact percentage and a high homer and walk percentage. Pierre has a high contact percentage and the lowest homer and a low walk percentage. But I’ve already studied Juan Pierre, so this post deals with Adam Dunn. And yes, he bounced back a bit from his historically bad 2011, but that doesn’t mean that his 2012 wasn’t statistically amazing as well. Dunn is fascinating in so many ways that he is a category all by himself. There is no one else like him in baseball.

First, let’s start out looking at his entire career, which started in 2001. What I have done is limit all players since 2001 to those who have had at least 6,000 plate appearances. There are 38 players who fit that category. Dunn’s place among these players is totally unique. Then I will look at his last three years, two of which have been somewhat acceptable and one that was historically bad. Continue reading


Colorado Rockies Worse Off Than Thought

In an article just published in the latest issue of Big Leagues Monthly, I outlined the history of the Colorado Rockies and it painted a pretty grim picture. That history of franchise futility peaked this season with their 98-loss debacle of a season. One of the recommendations I made in that article has already come about as Jim Tracy resigned as the team’s manager. That news seemed innocuous enough on face value. But the Yahoo Sports story on Tracy’s resignation gave some insight to the inner workings of the Rockies that were…well…just shocking. After reading Yahoo’s piece, it is no wonder that Tracy would get the heck out of there and makes you wonder what established manager in his right mind would ever take the job. Here is the money shot: Continue reading

MLB Playoff Ideas

I did a podcast with Daniel Shoptaw a couple of weeks ago and the conversation turned to the new wild card format. He asked if I liked the new one-and-done system with the two wild cards battling to see which team gets to face the Number One seed of the division winners. There are several reasons to like the new format. First, it gives much more incentive for teams to win the division. That will prevent a situation like a couple of years ago when the Yankees rested some players down the stretch and settled for the wild card. The new format also keeps fan interest in more cities because there are more chances to reach the playoffs. But both Daniel and I agree that after that initial one-off, the wild card team still has as equal a shot at reaching the World Series as before. Continue reading

Pujols is an Entitled Boor

The box score of Sunday’s game between the New York Yankees and the Angels with the really long name shows that Albert Pujols had a good game against the Yankees. He went two for four with a homer. He caught the last out in an Angels win to salvage the last game of the series. After a rough start to the season, Pujols has been the slugger the Angels expected since the second week of May. All of those things are true. But he will never be a player respected very much from this basement seat. It was another at bat that really showed the kind of player Pujols is. And it won’t show up in any kind of statistic other than that he grounded into a double play. The play though did not go unnoticed with these eyes and proved once again the Pujols is an entitled boor. Continue reading

It was fun, Ichiro

Before this season started, I predicted a bounce-back season for Ichiro Suzuki. Perhaps it was wishful thinking. The pride of Japan had a fallow season in 2011 when he failed to reach 200 hits for the first time in his career and finished with a .645 OPS. After averaging over five fWAR per season for his career, he fell to just 0.2 last year and even his defensive metrics seemed to fall down. Most felt that age had finally caught up to Ichiro. But I figured it was just a bad year and he would come back strong this year. Boy was I wrong. Continue reading

Paul Konerko – More Than a Chicago Treasure

Scoring and hitting have declined the last three seasons. Despite that fact, Paul Konerko keeps hitting and putting up terrific numbers at the plate. And yet, he is not a statistical darling because he is not considered a great fielding first baseman and has lead in his pants on the bases. But gosh, the guy can hit. Since 2009, Konerko has a higher wOBA than Matt Holliday, Joe Mauer, Lance Berkman, David Ortiz, Robinson Cano and Justin Upton. And he is just behind Adrian Gonzalez (.390 to .392).  And yet, outside of Chicago, there is little love for Paul Konerko. Continue reading

John Paciorek’s One Game of Glory

If you are a fan of MLB Dirt–and of course you are, or you wouldn’t be here–then perhaps you have been digging Andrew Martin’s historical pieces as much as I have. Frankly, they are brilliant and totally deserving his @HistorianAndrew Twitter handle. As such, it is with some trepidation that I tread into his lofty wake to consider a historical moment myself. But the story seemed to write itself Monday night as I was watching the ESPN telecast of the Yankees – Twins game. I don’t remember how his name came up but for some reason, the broadcast team mentioned Tom Paciorek, a player who played for eighteen seasons but it most known as Hawk Harrelson’s broadcast partner, “Wimpy.” And that mention led Aaron Boone (I think) to mention Paciorek’s brother, John Paciorek, who only played one game in the major leagues. But what a game it was. Continue reading