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February 4, 2011

FanGraphs on Adam Dunn’s Changed Plate Approach

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 4, 2011 11:00 pm

Lyu @ FG:

Suffice it to say that Adam Dunn‘s power has been eerily consistent throughout his career, hitting 40 +/- 2 home runs the past six years with over 100 RBI in five of them. His OBP, walk rate, and strikeout rate were very similar from 2004 to 2009. However, Dunn showed a change in approach last season, reaching career worsts in walk rate (11.9%) and strikeout rate (35.7%) while his OBP was his lowest since 2003 (.356). Granted, that’s still a very good OBP, but his change in approach came with an OBP drop of 40 points since he first joined the Washington Nationals.

Dunn’s swing rate has increased from 40.4% to 45.0%, a career high, showing a more aggressive approach at the plate. Here’s how his other plate-discipline stats changed:

2009: 19.4% O-Swing%, 65.5% Z-Swing%, 73.0% Contact%, 10.7% SwStr%
2010: 28.5% O-Swing%, 68.3% Z-Swing%, 68.2% Contact%, 13.8% SwStr% …

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4 Comments »

  1. When fans complain about Greg Walker as our hitting coach, the best rebuttal would be “You want the Nationals hitting coach instead?”

    The idea of expanding one’s strike zone which not only reduces OBP% but also gives pitchers a wider strike zone is ridiculous beyond belief.

    I hope Walker can reset Dunn’s plate approach. It would prove a hitting coach can help a batter in two ways: (1) suggestions to give the batter a more efficient swing and (2) removing swing thoughts that had opposing teams laughing.

    Comment by Buford — February 5, 2011 @ February 5, 2011 7:52 pm | Reply

    • the way I see it, dunn could have a monsterous year and I mean .288/50/124/.400 type of year. those are big numbers but the cell being a hitters park and greg walker helping him be more selective plus paulie taking pressure off of him to try to make things happen. it’s interesting to see how he plays. I have very high expectations.

      Comment by Anonymous — February 5, 2011 @ February 5, 2011 8:43 pm | Reply

    • is it possible dunn was anxious to hit something because he was in the last year of his contract, so he started chasing balls that were a bit away from the zone of the balls he used to swing at?

      Comment by The Wizard — February 6, 2011 @ February 6, 2011 12:47 pm | Reply

      • I mentioned the same point when the signing was made. A player making a change like this on his own in his walk year is understandable though still incorrect. The batting coach making such a suggestion is an entirely different matter. The bating coach should be talking players out of expanding their strike zone.

        Comment by Buford — February 6, 2011 @ February 6, 2011 4:59 pm | Reply


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