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« Ubaldo Jimenez: What Went Wrong? (Part 3) | Main | Ubaldo Jimenez: What Went Wrong? (Part 2) »
Tuesday
Mar012011

Dunn's Weakness

In the book Moneyball, the Athletics front office talks about process.  For example, they cared less about the result of a plate appearance than how the batter got to that result.  They would rather have a batter take an outside pitch than swing at it and get a hit.  By confining swings to the strike zone, batters increased their probability of getting on base, as contact was more likely to result in a hit, and walks would go up as batters refused to swing at balls.

Adam Dunn would likely be a player the Athletics would love.  Look where he swings:

Adam Dunn, swings, 2008-2010.In three of the four quadrants of the strike zone, Dunn does a fantastic job of swinging at balls in the zone.  Even low and outside, he's not that far off.

This is where he takes pitches:

Adam Dunn, taken pitches, 2008-2010.Again, low and outside is the only place where his process is off.  That's where most pitchers throw to him however, and his judgement there created a hole they can exploit:

Adam Dunn, called balls, 2008-2010.Adam gets some good calls on three of the corners, but the middle to low outside pitches belong to the hurlers.  That's where they get him looking at strike three:

Adam Dunn, strikeouts looking, 2008-2010.His chasing of the outside pitch and taking of pitches on the lower-inside corner expands the strike zone and gives opponents a spot to attack.

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