The Process Versus Adam Dunn & White Sox Hitters | The Process Report

The Process Versus Adam Dunn & White Sox Hitters

After losing three of four in Chicago, the Rays hope to return the favor as the White Sox come into Tropicana Field for a four-game set.

A.J. Pierzynski Left .701 .732
Ramon Castro Right .830 .710
Paul Konerko Right .977 .835
Adam Dunn Left .759 .965
Mark Teahen Left .709 .727
Gordon Beckham Right .777 .736
Omar Vizquel Switch .580 .639
Brent Lillibridge Right .640 .497
Alexei Ramirez Right .848 .717
Brent Morel* Right .974 .594
Juan Pierre Left .707 .659
Alexis Rios Right .725 .773
Carlos Quentin Right .819 .880

(Three-year samples used when possible)
*Career numbers because of small sample size in recent years. These tables all exclude 2011 stats

(Favors means the split is +/- .020 points)
Matchup favors LHP: Pierzynski, Dunn, Vizquel, Rios, Quentin
Matchup favors RHP: Castro, Konerko, Beckham, Lillibridge, Ramirez, Morel, Pierre,
Matchup is a push: Teahen

(Credit to Chris St. John for the data)

Analysis after the jump…

Most of the analysis that was done last week, still stands for the White Sox lineup. Meanwhile, Chicago will have their designated hitter, Adam Dunn around this time. Dunn missed the series in Chicago after an emergency appendectomy, but has since returned to the lineup.

At this point, everyone knows Dunn is one of the premier sluggers in the game. Although he is new to the American League, Tampa Bay is aware of what he can do. In fact, the Rays were rumored to be the “favorites” at one point to land Dunn at least year’s trade deadline.

Dunn mashes. There is no other way to describe his game. He is a three outcome hitter who will take walks, strikeout in bunches, and hit around 40 home runs a season. There may be a slight adjustment now that he is in the AL, and a full-time DH, but he should be fine playing in US Cellular Field.

Luckily for the Rays, they get Dunn at the relatively neutral Tropicana Field.  The home of the Rays suppressed left-handed home run power by 11% last season according to Unfortunately, that is one of the only slight advantages Tampa Bay pitchers may have over him.

It is true that Dunn, a left-handed batter, has more success against right-handed pitching; however, his .808 OPS and .354 wOBA against southpaws are above-average.  That said, the platoon matchup slightly favors David Price in game one as well as Cesar Ramos and Jake McGee out of the pen.

In the other three games, Dunn will face three right-handed starters. Looking at individual pitches, there is not much he cannot handle. He absolutely crushes fastball which does not bode well for James Shields, Wade Davis, or Jeff Niemann. In addition to his love of the heater, he also does well against changeups – a triple negative for Shields who already has home run issues. If Dunn is to be exploited on a certain pitch, it would be the slider. Niemann showed some good action on his slider in his last start, so he might be able to use that to his advantage.

Although Dunn has struck out in nearly one-third of his career plate appearances, he is not without discipline. He was a bit of a free swinger in 2010; however, he generally takes most of his hacks within the zone. Although he does not chase much, he will miss a pitch or two quite often.

Dunn has posted a double-digit whiff rate in each of his full big league seasons. That said, trying to blow a fastball by him is not smart (unless your David Price and throw 98 MPH from the left side). In recent seasons, he has whiffed on a decent amount of changeups and sliders, but once again it has to be a well located pitch or it’s going over the wall.

When Dunn puts a ball in play that actually stays in the yard, he does so in typical left-handed pull fashion. There should not be much shifting in the outfield alignment, however, the Rays should employ the standard over shift along the infield. This means the shortstop playing on the second base side of the bag and the second baseman in short right field.

One Comment

  1. […] into tonight’s game, I was a bit worried about the James Shields vs. Adam Dunn matchup. In the Process Versus post, I noted how Dunn – who is a difficult matchup for any pitcher – could be especially […]

Leave a Reply

#layout { padding-left:20px; }