Adam Troy Dunn (born November 9, 1979, in Houston, Texas), nicknamed "Big Donkey", is an American Major League Baseball first baseman, outfielder, and designated hitter for the Chicago White Sox. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed.
Dunn was a standout quarterback at New Caney High School in Texas. After graduating from high school, the Cincinnati Reds drafted Dunn in the second round (50th overall) of the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft. Dunn had previously committed to play football for the University of Texas. The Reds and Dunn agreed to a deal which allowed him to play minor league baseball during the summer, and return to Austin in August to prepare for football. Dunn redshirted his freshman season and served as a backup to Major Applewhite. When star recruit Chris Simms committed to Texas, Dunn was asked to move to the tight end position. As a result, he left the Longhorns to concentrate on baseball in 1999.Template:Citation needed
Despite his high strikeout totals, Dunn exhibits remarkable plate discipline. He has been among the major league leaders every season in number of pitches per at bat. His career batting average is slightly over .250, but he has nonetheless compiled a career on-base percentage above .380. He is annually among the league leaders in both bases on balls and strikeouts.
Dunn has the fifth-lowest career at bats per home run average in Major-League history. His 13.96 ratio (about one home run every 14 times he comes to bat) is eclipsed only by Mark McGwire (10.61), Babe Ruth (11.76), Barry Bonds (12.90), and Jim Thome (13.68). Stretching behind Dunn are such Hall-of-Famers as Ralph Kiner, Harmon Killebrew, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Jimmie Foxx, and Mike Schmidt, respectively.
Dunn made his Major League debut on July 20, Template:Mlby, and set a National League rookie record for the most home runs in a month by hitting 12 in August.
In 2002, Adam Dunn had a career-high 128 walks and a .400 on base percentage. During that same year, he was selected to the Template:Mlby National League All-Star team. In that game, Dunn hit a ball to center field that was a few feet from being a game ending home run (the game famously ended in a tie). He also walked in his only other plate appearance.
Dunn's most productive season came in Template:Mlby, when he posted career highs in batting average (.266), home runs (46), runs (105), hits (151), , slugging average (.569), and OPS (.957). On September 30, 2004, Dunn once again got his name in Major League Baseball's record book, albeit not in the manner he wished. That day, Dunn struck out three times against Chicago Cubs right-hander Mark Prior, raising his season total to 191 and surpassing Bobby Bonds' single season strikeout record of 189, set in Template:Mlby. He finished the season with 195 strikeouts. He held the record until Ryan Howard broke it on September 27, Template:Mlby.
Dunn's 46 home runs in 2004 were the fourth most in Cincinnati Reds history. That year, he joined Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan as the only Reds players to score 100 runs, drive in 100 runs, and draw 100 walks in a single season. Dunn repeated the feat the following season making him the only player in Reds history to do it more than once.
In 2004, Template:Mlby, and Template:Mlby, he struck out 34.3%, 30.9%, and 34.6% of the time, respectively. In each season, his was the highest strikeout percentage in Major League Baseball. In 2008 he struck out 31.7% of the time.
On October 31, Template:Mlby, Dunn's $13 million dollar option was picked up by the Reds, making him the highest-paid player on the team.
On June 29, 2008, Dunn won the Ohio Cup MVP when he went 6-for-20 in the six-game series, with 5 home runs and 10 RBI.
On August 11, Template:Mlby, Dunn was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-handed pitcher Dallas Buck and two other players to be named later. The two players were catcher Wilkin Castillo and pitcher Micah Owings.
In 2008 he walked 19.1% of the time, the highest percentage in major league baseball, however struck out 164 times in 651 plate appearances.
On February 11, Template:Mlby, Dunn agreed to a two-year $20 million contract with the Washington Nationals. In his first game as a National, he hit a home run and had four RBIs. On July 4, 2009, he hit his 300th career home run. During the 2009 season, Dunn transitioned into a first baseman, and now in National League parks, he plays almost exclusively at that position.
On July 7, 2010, Dunn hit 3 home runs in a single game for the first time in his career as the Nationals beat the Padres 7-6. He hit a 3 run and 2 solo homers to join Alfonso Soriano as the only Nationals players to accomplish the feat.
Chicago White SoxEdit
On March 1, 2009, Dunn joined the United States team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic at the late request of coach Davey Johnson. In the March 7, 2009 first round game against Canada in Toronto, he hit a two-run home run and batted in a run on a sacrifice fly play. On March 8, Dunn scored on a three run triple by Chris Iannetta, and had a solo home run against Venezuela.
Dunn has come under criticism for what some view as a lackadaisical effort in left field. When Dunn was a free agent in 2009, Toronto Blue Jays GM J. P. Ricciardi commented in response to a question about acquiring Dunn: "Do you know the guy doesn't really like baseball that much? Do you know the guy doesn't have a passion to play the game that much? How much do you know about the player? There's a reason why you're attracted to some players and there's a reason why you're not attracted to some players. I don't think you'd be very happy if we brought Adam Dunn here." Ricciardi later apologized for his comments. Reds announcer Marty Brennaman has criticized Dunn's lack of clutch hitting as well noting, "He homers; he doesn't drive in runs." Marty Brennaman also had this to say, "I think he was overweight last year. He walks to his position. He walks off the field. You see no energy whatsoever and that disappoints the heck out of me." However, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo had this to say about Dunn: "Dunn was the most misunderstood player I have heard about in recent memory," Rizzo said. "The way he was misconstrued [in Cincinnati] was almost unbelievable. He plays banged up. He'd go out there 162 games if you'd let him. He's the most consistent player in the game the last six years."
In 2009, Dunn was rated the worst fielder in the Major Leagues. He was rated -35 in Ultimate Zone Rating. The next closest being Yuniesky Betancourt with -21. Dunn struggled in the field after the Nationals moved him to first base midway through the 2009 season. His UZR/150 at first was an abominable -30.8 -- the next closest first baseman (over 500 innings) was Victor Martinez, at -9.1. Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports said of Dunn's first base defense in 2010 "I don't think it's a stretch to say that Adam Dunn will be the worst defensive first baseman in baseball in 2010. He may challenge for the title of all-time worst." Nevertheless, Dunn, for the first time in his career, went into spring training in 2010 as a first baseman. Despite his detractors, by the All Star Break, his UZR/150 was -1.1, ahead of other star first basemen Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Mark Texiera, and Prince Fielder.
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports had this to say of Dunn's time with the Reds in comparison with the 2010 Reds team. "It's a different Reds team than the older, beer-bellied softball teams of recent years. Those Reds were Ken Griffey and Adam Dunn lounging on the clubhouse's leather couches, hitting home runs, misplaying balls in the outfield and thinking they had it all figured out, when all they knew how to do was lose."
In December 2005, Reds manager Jerry Narron informed the press that, due to the trade of popular first baseman Sean Casey to the Pittsburgh Pirates for left-handed pitcher Dave Williams, Dunn would be moving to first base for the 2006 season. However, with the acquisition of free agent first baseman Scott Hatteberg (who played for the Oakland Athletics in 2005) during spring training and the March 20 trade of outfielder Wily Mo Peña to the Boston Red Sox for right-handed pitcher Bronson Arroyo, the plan to convert Dunn was scrapped. Dunn had mentioned that he would rather not play first base.Template:Citation needed
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