Chicago White Sox player Adam Dunn is an American League All-Star despite a .210 batting average. He is on pace to strike out more than any other player in major league history. Does that tarnish what he has done with the bat in the first half of 2012?
At the pace he has whiffed this summer, Dunn is looking to wind up in the neighborhood of 250 strikeouts this season. That not only obliterates the all-time mark of 223 set by Mark Reynolds in 2009, but it is well over the 195 Dunn recorded in his disastrous 2011 campaign.
Dunn is going down on strikes in almost 37 percent of his plate appearances. How can that merit his second All-Star selection?
Simple. Dunn is producing runs.
Going into Tuesday night's action with Texas, Dunn is third in the major leagues with 24 homers. More importantly, Dunn has driven in 58 runs, good for fifth in the bigs.
Yes, Dunn's eye-popping 126 stikeouts lead the league. However, so do his 64 walks. Despite the lack of contact, his on-base percentage is a respectable .359.
Would it be nice if Dunn were to make contact with more regularity? Sure. On the other hand, he isn't here to poke singles through the infield.
My apologies if you rolled out of bed and are just now discovering that Dunn misses the ball a lot. He was signed to hit for power and drive in runs. He failed miserably at that last year. He is getting the job done in 2012.
With men on base, his average jumps to .256. He is bearing down with runners in scoring position. Also of smaller consolation is the fact that Dunn has ground into just two double plays this season. Hey, at least that gives cleanup hitter Paul Konerko a chance to knock 'em in.
Dunn hit just .181 in June but did have eight homers and 21 RBI in that span. Considering he had just 11 dingers in all of 2011, Dunn has managed to be productive with the bat.
It remains to be seen how the rest of the season will play out for Dunn. However, if he winds up with 40-plus homers and over 100 RBI on a team that is flirting with the playoffs, I will endure the stikeouts, record or not.