Whether Chicago White Sox fans like it or not, Adam Dunn is going to strikeout more than enough, it’s just the type of hitter he is. His raw power is the one and only reason why he has a job in the major leagues, however.
The Sox inked the 34 year-old Dunn to a four-year, $56 million contract two seasons ago just because he can hit the ball out of the park on a consistent basis, but after striking out 177 times in just 415 at-bats in 2011, there’s a lot of pressure on him to perform in the second year of his four year deal, and so far he’s rebounded quite nicely.
In 44 games, Dunn has launched 14 long-balls (second in the American League) to go along with 32 runs batted in for a White Sox team that gave him a chance to redeem himself after an atrocious 2011 campaign. When scanning though Dunn’s stats, it’s better to just ignore his batting average because it’s just plain ugly, but name some power hitters who do hit for a high batting average other than Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton.
Does Dunn’s raw power makeup for his high strikeout numbers, though?
Dunn’s high strikeout numbers have been alarming since the day he set foot on a major league field, but power hitters are power hitters. Like most sluggers, Dunn has countless loopholes in his swing, which is why he swings through pitches so often, but when he connects the ball soars through the air only to land in the bleachers.
But what really levels out his strikeout numbers is his patience at the plate. In 2012, he has walked in nearly 19 percent of his at-bats which is behind just Joey Votto for the major league lead. Dunn isn’t one of those free swinging bombers like Vladimir Guerrero who just lets it all go with every swing he takes. Despite the obvious upper-cut, his swing is compact and smooth, and very rarely does he chase pitches out of the strike zone. He makes hitting the ball 450 feet look easy, which really isn’t the case.
With all of this said, the 2012 Adam Dunn sends fear through opposing pitchers because he has his power stroke working again. And when the White Sox acquired him that was what they had in mind as soon as he signed the contract. Despite his miserable 2011 season, it looks as if he’s going to be launching a lot of homeruns in the Windy City for the next few years, and that’s good to see because watching his homeruns fly is always enjoyable.