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July 2, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Not Dunn Yet

by Jason Collette


As June became July yesterday, Adam Dunn’s numbers looked rather familiar. His batting average was once again below the Mendoza line, at .198, and he had 21 home runs through his first 312 plate appearances. A bit encouraging is that he had only struck out 95 times, putting him on pace to strike out about 50 fewer times than his league-leading 222 last season. He is also on a decent pace to hit 40 home runs for the seventh time in his career.

The move from the National League to U.S. Cellular Field was supposed to be one that would likely help Dunn’s offensive numbers, yet he has just a .187/.313/.401 slash line in 1,457 plate appearances on the South Side of Chicago. Quietly, as the White Sox continue to have a disappointing season, Dunn had his best June ever and his best single month since changing leagues. Dunn was so red-hot in June that his MLB.com player card has over 50 highlights of him either driving in runs or crossing the plate in June alone!

Dunn’s final slash line for June 2013 was a robust .274/.402/.589 in 117 plate appearances. He had 12 extra-base hits that included nine home runs but, more importantly, he struck out just 22 percent of the time. That rate is a 36 percent reduction from Dunn’s strikeout rate from 2011 until the beginning of June 2013.

Early last month, Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com wrote an insightful piece that reviewed everything Dunn and the coaching staff has gone through with him in recent months. Hitting coach Jeff Manto made the following statement to Greenberg:

"The thing with Dunn that people don't realize is that he's so athletic," Manto said. "He made a comment the other day, and I truly believe it, he said no matter what he tries, he feels comfortable. So I can ask him to hit with an open stance and he'll go ‘okay, fine.’ Hit with a closed stance, ‘okay, fine’ and he'll feel comfortable. Just a matter of him barreling the ball up."

Greenberg reported that the coaching staff asked Dunn to be more aggressive at the plate and break from his habit of working deep into counts and being willing to take a walk. Essentially, they told someone who just led the league with 222 strikeouts to be more aggressive at the plate. The thought process behind the theory was that Dunn hit just .118 in full counts, walking 55 times and striking out 65 times; only one of the three true outcomes he showcased at 3-2 was a desirable one.

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Related Content:  Adam Dunn,  MLB,  Fantasy,  White Sox

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Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (07/01)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: A P... (07/01)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Tra... (07/09)
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