With his 14th major league season set to begin on March 31 against the Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn is just 10 home runs away from reaching the 450-homer mark for his career.
A second-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1998 amateur draft, the 6′6″ Dunn—who currently has 6,454 MLB at-bats under his belt—hit 40-plus homers in five consecutive seasons, from 2004-2008, but failed to earn an All-Star selection in any of those years. He's been named to just one All-Star team over the past 10 seasons, despite hitting fewer than 34 homers just once during that span.
Of course, Dunn's propensity for striking out—he's fanned 164 or more times every season since 2004—and inability to hit for high average have had a lot to do with that. Despite the unproductive outs, Dunn has still been reasonably valuable to major league teams thanks to his elite power and ability to draw walks; he ranks 51st all-time in bases on balls (with 1,246) and owns a .366 career OBP.
In Major League Baseball history, only 35 players have hit 450 or more home runs, with Jeff Bagwell and Vladimir Guerrero both finishing just one shy of the mark.
Now 34 years old, Dunn is entering the final year of his contract with the White Sox and figures to be restricted to platoon duty, with Paul Konerko and Jose Abreu factoring in at first base and designated hitter. Still, Dunn said recently that he is planning to return in 2015, so it's entirely possible he could eventually join the exclusive 500-homer club.
The Hall of Fame is likely a different matter, however.
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