Tagged: Adam Dunn

Ballpark Figures: Hall of Fame Predictions Part Two


Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports


Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss players who may be on the road to the Hall of Fame.


Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre may be a surprise on this list for some people, but the longeivty of his career could land him in the Hall of Fame. The 33-year-old currently has 2,113 hits and 322 home runs. In order to get to 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, he would need to average 127 hits and 25 home runs per season until the age of 40. Beltre has a good chance to reach those benchmarks, as he plays in one of the most homer-friendly stadiums in baseball and could benefit from the designated hitter position in the American League down the road.


Paul Konerko is certainly a surprise when it comes to potential Hall of Fame candidacy. The White Sox first baseman, who is 36 years old, has 409 career home runs, and 500 homers is definitely in reach. He would need to average 22 home runs per year until he is 40 to get to 500. That would put him in a good position to get into the Hall of Fame, as he also won a World Series in 2005.


Andy Pettitte has 243 wins and 2,297 strikeouts in his career. He has the most postseason wins in history with 19, including four World Series wins. If he can get another seven wins and 203 K’s in the next two seasons, he would have 250 wins and 2,500 K’s, good for 47th and 31st all-time. That should give him a good shot at the Hall of Fame.


Roy Halladay has 192 career wins and 1,990 strikeouts. The 35-year-old would need 21 wins per season until he is 40 to reach 300 wins. Though he has dominated during certain parts of his career, he doesn’t have the longevity to get the numbers he needs to make it into the Hall of Fame, especially as he is battling a shoulder injury this season that should keep him out for six to eight weeks.


The odds are against Johan Santana making it into the Hall of Fame, as he is 33 years old and only has 137 wins and 1,956 strikeouts. He would need another five standout years to rack up the numbers to earn a spot in Cooperstown. He has had major surgery and it is uncertain how many more dominant years he has left in the tank.  


C.C. Sabathia is as durable as they come and he should definitely make the Hall of Fame. He has 185 wins and is already 58th all-time in strikeouts with 2,119. If he finishes this season with another 90 strikeouts and averages 170 K’s for the next four years, he will have 2,889 K’s by the age of 36, good for 17th all-time. He would be well on his way to 3,000 K’s, a feat which only 16 pitchers have accomplished, all of them in the Hall of Fame aside from ineligible players.


Adam Dunn is 32 years old and has 388 career home runs. He should get into the Hall of Fame if he can reach 500 homers, which is certainly in striking distance. He has 23 home runs in 289 plate appearances this season. If he can hit another 17 home runs this year and enter the 2013 season with 405 in his career, he would need to average just 19 home runs for the next five seasons to reach 500.


Miguel Cabrera‘s home-run total of 277 through age 28 was the 13th-highest of any player at that age. If he hits 19 more home runs this season, he will enter his age-30 season with 310 career homers. From there, it would take him less than six seasons to get to 500 at his career rate of 33 home runs per 162 games. If he keeps playing the way he is now, he’s a certain Hall of Famer.


Ryan Braun joins Willie Mays and Darryl Strawberry as the only players to hit at least 180 home runs and steal at least 100 bases in their first six seasons. If Braun can hit 20 more homers this season, he will be one of two players to hit at least 200 home runs and bat at least .310 in his first six seasons, joining Albert Pujols. Braun is definitely on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer but he may need to prove himself more than others after testing positive for PEDs, even though his suspension was overturned.


Matt Holliday‘s Hall of Fame candidacy is iffy right now. If the 32-year-old can keep his average above .300 and record 1,032 more hits and 136 more home runs, he will be one of only 12 players with a .300 average, at least 350 homers and at least 2,500 hits, joining eight Hall of Famers as well as Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero. He is a very solid player, but not necessarily a player worthy of the Hall of Fame.



For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Breakdown, Rounds 10-18



Twitter: @RobShawSports


Bloomberg Sports Host Julie Alexandria is joined by Bloomberg Sports Analyst Rob Shaw to break down an expert’s fantasy baseball draft. The draft, which included fantasy experts from CBS, Yahoo!, and ESPN was a 28-round draft that consisted of additional positions such as Middle Infielder, Corner Infielder, and five outfielder positions.  Additionally, the league includes more advanced statistics such as OBP and slugging rather than the typical batting average.


Here’s a look at the first nine picks by Shaw:

1) Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

2) Roy Halladay, Phillies

3) Cliff Lee, Phillies

4) Eric Hosmer, Royals

5) Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

6) Adam Jones, Orioles

7) Howie Kendrick, Angels

8) Drew Stubbs, Reds

9) Derek Jeter, Yankees


Picking up with the 10th round pick, I drafted Josh Johnson, who similar to Stephen Strasburg has the ability to dominate on the hill, while also carrying serious health concerns.  Again, having both Halladay and Lee as durable aces on his staff allows for these high upside gambles.  The best case scenario would be incredible with Halladay, Lee, Strasburg, and Johnson all on the team. 


Speaking of gambles, in the 11th round I took a chance that Adam Dunn will bounce back from one of the worst all-time seasons in fantasy baseball.  Dunn has extra upside in this league as he is known for his high on base percentage as well as his slugging.  Immediately after the draft I even received two offers for Dunn.


In the 12th round I drafted Danny Espinosa.  There are concerns that he’s a free swinger who lacks consistency and will hit for a low average.  On the other hand, he has a great combination of power and speed for a middle infielder.  Plus, as a sophomore, it is rational to expect significant improvement this season. 


I opted for a steady option in the 13th round drafting Nick Markakis.  It is clear that his power will never materialize into 30-plus home runs, but he does reach base consistently and has some speed and pop too.  Considering all the risks I’ve taken, this is a pick I had


The 14th round was a disaster for me.  This league requires that we start two catchers and I thought Salvador Perez was a fine hitter with decent run production.  Alas, he is injured and is expected to miss the first few months of the season.  I will have to find an option off the waiver wire.  Josh Thole, though limited in power, may be the safe bet since he will start and does have a respectable OBP. 


I finally deployed by strategy to pick up closers in the later rounds with the selection of Sergio Santos.  The hard-thrower gets a ton of strikeouts and should pick up 30-plus saves in Toronto.  I followed with Joe Nathan in the following round.  He dominated late last season and should have plenty of save opportunities with the Rangers.


I picked up my second catcher in the following round with Chris Iannetta.  I see him as a potential Mike Napoli-type slugger who at best can slam 20 bombs with a .250 average.  He does offer a nice OBP, which is rare for a catcher.  Maybe he’ll even surprise me the way Napoli did last season on my fantasy team. 


I grabbed another power bat in the 18th round with Edwin Encarnacion.  He was tremendous in the second half of last season, seemingly changing his approach at the plate to become more of a patient hitter.  The Blue Jays likely won’t tolerate another one of his trademark slow starts, so hopefully, this is the year that he puts it all together. 


For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.


Who’s on First?: A Look at First Basemen from the Best to the Bust

Who’s on First?


The Best: Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox

The likely AL MVP has made a smooth transition from the pitcher-friendly Petco Park to the hitter-friendly Fenway Park.  Thanks in large part to the fine start by Jacoby Ellsbury, Gonzalez has been driving runs in at a career-high pace.  While his power is evident in the 25 doubles and 16 home runs, it’s his consistency that makes his .356 average sustainable.


The Surprise: Mark Trumbo, Angels

The loss of Kendry Morales for another season would have been even more devastating had rookie Mark Trumbo not filled in admirably.  The 25-year old first baseman has belted 13 home runs with a solid seven steals.  Though he can improve on his plate discipline and raise his .258 average, Trumbo’s 28 extra bases have gone a long way for the Angels.


The Bust: Adam Dunn, White Sox

Playing in the homer-friendly US Cellular Ballpark with an improved lineup around him seemed like a slam dunk for Adam Dunn.  Instead, the White Sox slugger who has had no less than 38 home runs over the last seven seasons has been downright awful.  His .173 average is nearly 100 points lower than last season’s batting clip, and his power has been zapped to a .316 slugging percentage.


The 31-year old veteran has a few possible reasons for his lack of production.  He is new to the American League and he has never before been a designated hitter on a regular basis.  It may be time for the White Sox to call in Harold Baines to help mentor the fallen slugger.


The 2nd Half Sleeper: Mitch Moreland, Rangers

Texas may be a launching pad for sluggers, but during the dog days of summer, the heat takes its toll.  That’s why fantasy managers should not be too concerned about the fact hat Mitch Moreland remains a platoon player despite the .287 average and 11 home runs.  Come August, Moreland is bound to be fresh.  On that note, Moreland has yet to get into a big hot streak that is bound to lift his season totals past 20 home runs.  Expect a big second half from the rising first baseman who blasted nine home runs in 47 games after the All-Star break last season.


What’s The Value of HRs When Fewer Are Hitting Them?

By Eriq Gardner //

When most competitors figure out who to draft in fantasy baseball leagues this year, they typically attempt to judge a player’s prospective stats. Will player X hit 35 HR this year or merely 25? How will player Y adapt to his new playing environment now that he is moving from a ballpark that favors pitchers to one that favors hitters?
But those questions aren’t the only ones that determine a player’s prospective value. A player can produce a carbon copy of last season and still hold remarkably different value from one year to the next. That’s because the value of accumulated stats is ever-shifting.
Let’s give an example by considering the shifting fantasy value of “Mr. Consistency” Adam Dunn. One will hardly find a better player in baseball like Dunn who reproduces his stat line from one year to the next. Check out his HR totals over the last six seasons: 40, 40, 40, 40, 38, 38.
In 2010, Dunn hit 38 HR, tabbed 103 RBI, scored 85 runs, didn’t steal any bases, and had a .260 average.
It was a nearly identical season compared to his 2009, when he hit 38 HR, tabbed 105 RBI, scored 81 runs, didn’t steal any bases, and had a .267 average. 
And yet, according to Baseball Monster, which tabulates the comparative fantasy value of players in baseball, Dunn went from being the 115th most valuable player in 2009 to the 57th most valuable player in 2010 in a standard 12-team 5×5 league. Quite a difference!
To understand why Dunn made a huge leap in fantasy value, without really doing much different, it takes an appreciation of larger macro-trends around baseball.
Last season, there was 4,613 HR hit throughout MLB. That represented a 8.5% drop in HR production from the 2009 season when players hit 5,042 HR. In fact, HR activity was at its lowest point since 1993. Maybe it’s a tougher performance-enhancing drug testing regime, or maybe MLB switched the type of balls they use, or maybe there’s a whole series of other, more subtle reasons. Whatever the reason, homers became a much rarer commodity.
This influences fantasy baseball.
For example, in 2008, the blog Rotoauthority.com did a study of the stats needed to be ahead in each category. According to Tim Dierkes, he concluded that 313 HR were needed to finish 2nd or 3rd in the HR category. If Dierkes did another study based on last year’s results, we’d bet good money that the threshold would be much lower. In one league we competed in last year, in a similar format to the one Dierkes studied, the team that finished first in HR slugged just 258 of them; the team that finished second in slugged only 218.
A season where it takes 300 HR to win is a lot different than a season where it takes 200 HR to win. In the former, Adam Dunn’s 40 HR bring his owner 13% to the needed total. In the latter, Adam Dunn’s 40 HR bring his owner 20% to the needed total.
If you can bank 40 HR from a slugger, that certainly takes on added value, especially considering that each HR also produces at least one RBI, a run, and a hit. 
But keep in mind that the threshold for players being merely average in the power category has also changed. Five seasons ago, players with at least 500 plate appearances averaged 20 HR. Sixty-eight percent of them fell somewhere between 8 and 32 HR. Last season, players with at least 500 plate appearances averaged 18 HR. Sixty-eight percent of them fell between between 8 and 29 HR. The difference between the haves and have-nots has shrunk. Hitting 22 HR now is akin to hitting 25 HR a few years ago.
Let’s assume these macro-trends in baseball continue, and consider the significance. 
For players who far out-slug the competition, these individuals have great value in fantasy leagues. But be careful about penalizing players whose production appears to have slipped a bit. Relatively speaking, they might be just as good as ever.

Chicago White Sox (Finally) Acquire Adam Dunn

By Tommy Rancel //

Following what seems like years of courting by the Chicago White Sox, as well as years of resisting becoming a designated hitter in the American League, Adam Dunn signed a four-year deal, $56 million to slug on Chicago’s South Side. Whether it was a change of heart or the $56 million being waved in front of his 31-year-old eyes, Dunn now says he’s not only willing to DH, but play whatever position the White Sox ask of him.

Dunn could be asked to use his butcher’s knife glove at first base along with his time at DH. Luckily for fantasy owners, his defense is not a factor. He’ll keep his first base eligibility for 2011 at least; his offensive game is so strong that he’s well worth a spot in mixed league lineups even if he eventually loses that eligibility.

In seasons past, Dunn has been one of the more underrated hitters in the game. This is largely because his batting average has been mediocre (or worse), despite the many home runs launched from his bat. Dunn also walks a lot and strikeouts a ton. The walks are underrated in many circles and the strikeouts are seen as a huge negative to some. Still, the total package is a valuable one, in fantasy and even more so in real life.

The Big Donkey has hit at least 38 home runs in each of the last seven seasons. He is the only major leaguer who can say that. Over those seven seasons, he’s averaged 40 bombs a season with 101 runs driven in. Even though he is as slow as his nickname would suggest, his fantastic on-base skills (.381 career OBP), frequent homers and underrated durability (he’s missed 10 games or less in each of the past seven seasons) have helped him average 94 runs scored a year since 2004.

Also working in Dunn’s favor this season will be a switch to one of the more hitter-friendly parks in the AL. His new home, U.S. Cellular Field, rated as the top home run ballpark in 2010. Nationals Park ranked 15th last season.

On the other hand, there are some concerns about Dunn going into next season. He will be playing in the AL for the first time and will also be DHing for the first time on a regular basis. Add in the fact that old-player skills (walks, strikeouts, home runs) do not tend to age gracefully, and there are some concerns about a Pat Burrell-like slide.

Still, we must give Dunn the benefit of the doubt. His durability and colossal power – in conjunction with a move to “the Cell” – put him among the game’s top projected sluggers in 2011. His position in the field and lineup are to be determined; however his status as a top fantasy option remains intact as a member of the Chicago White Sox.