June 19, 2019

Adam Dunn, 29, Clearly on the Decline

October 7, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Adam Dunn, now of the Washington Nationals, is clearly over the hill. He hit only 38 HRs in 2009, a noticeable decline from his past several years performances.

I am joking of course. It was a very noticeable drop, but not because he is slipping due to old age. No, it is obvious because for the four years from 2005 – 2008 Dunn finished each season with exactly 40 HRs. That uncanny consistency came to an end this year, as he managed to club only 38 dingers. I wonder how many people lost wagers on whether this statistical freak of nature would have ended up with exactly 40 again?

That all said, his 2009 season was actually a fine one overall, as he batted .267 which is not bad for a sub-.250 career hitter. He of course walks a heck of a lot, and this year has 116 walks, which translated into a .398 OBP, raising his career mark to .383. On the negative side, Dunn is known for his high strikeout totals, and yes he did whiff 177 more times in 2009, the third highest single-season total of his career.

Back to the matter of consistency in the HR department. Dunn’s consistency in this regard is in part so remarkable because he has been consistent with such a high total of HRs. If you include his 2004 total of 46, he has had consecutive seasons of 46, 40, 40, 40, 40, and 38. For me this stirs memories from many years ago when I noticed the remarkable consistency — if less remarkable raw HR totals — that Fred Lynn managed in consecutive seasons from 1982 – 1988 when had 21, 22, 23, 23, 23, 23, 25.

And so I ask the baseball world: does anyone know of other hitters who have had such consistent streaks for HRs throughout the decades of this great game?


One Response to “Adam Dunn, 29, Clearly on the Decline”
  1. Thomas Stone says:

    A follow-up to my old post… It looked like 38 might be the new 40, as Dunn hit 38 again in 2010. But then he went off the rails in 2011, about as badly as any player ever has, hitting only 11 HRs in 496 plate appearances, while hitting an embarassing .159. What a nightmare season. Maybe my blog post title, meant as a joke at the time, an exaggeration of Dunn’s slipping from 40 HR to only 38, was on to something after all? I doubt it. His numbers in 2011 were predicted by exactly no one (that I’m aware of), and hopefully won’t be repeated in 2012. In fact, they can’t be repeated — because no sane manager would let that go on (again) for more than a month or two this season… right?

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