The big news from yesterday seemingly came out of nowhere. There had been talk of Adam Dunn talking to teams like the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers, but very little talk about him joining the Chicago White Sox. Of course, that’s exactly what happened.
It is being reported by multiple sources that Dunn and the White Sox have agreed to a four-year, $56 million dollar deal. That’s the type of deal that Dunn was looking for the last time he was a free agent, though he ultimately settled for a 2 year, $20 million dollar deal with Washington.
Dunn has long proven to be one of the most consistent sluggers in baseball, now with seven straight seasons with at least 38 home runs. Over that span he also has six seasons of at least 100 RBI and four seasons of at least 99 runs.
The big concern has always been his average, though he has hit at least .260 in three of the past four seasons. He has always struck out a significant amount (over 30% in each of his major league seasons) and the difference in his average has always been due to luck and nothing else. Just look at his average/BABIP over the past four seasons:
- 2007 – .264/.305
- 2008 – .236/.258
- 2009 – .267/.324
- 2010 – .260/.329
You could even push it back three years further. From 2004-2006 Dunn had two seasons hitting under .250 (in both seasons he posted BABIP of under .280). In the other season he hit .266, thanks to a BABIP of .321. The bottom line is if Dunn has his share of luck and posts a BABIP of at least .300, he is going to post a usable average.
Moving to the AL, we can’t be sure exactly how it will impact him. While interleague play and free agency has brought more exposure to different pitchers, there will still be a learning curve. While it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his average struggle, this certainly isn’t the reason why you are drafting him.
That brings us back to the power. U.S. Cellular Field is one of the better hitting parks in baseball, significantly better then Nationals Park. It would certainly appear like he is a lock to reach the 38 HR plateau, wouldn’t it?
As for where he hits in the lineup, that is still open for debate. There has been talk that the White Sox are still considering resigning Paul Konerko, which would push Dunn to a full-time DH role and potentially put him in the fifth slot of the lineup. If Konerko does not return, Dunn will likely hit fourth.
Either way, he’s going to have a chance to drive in runs. The big question will be how many runs he scores.
Like the average, while it matters, it’s just not going to be in our decision making progress. We are going to draft Dunn for his power and that is the one thing we don’t have to worry about. He has found himself in a great situation to hit home runs and nothing is going to change that.
Dunn’s move to Chicago does nothing to affect his fantasy appeal. Draft him in all formats as a low level first baseman (in our original rankings, Dunn came in at #11, which you can see by clicking here).
What are your thoughts on Dunn? Does the move to Chicago change his value? How would you rank him among 1B?
Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings: