The 2011 Hot Stove Season has included numerous high profile free agent signings, including blockbuster deals signed by Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, and the multi-player trade that brought Adrian Gonzales to the Red Sox. Of the many deals this off-season, the free agent signing of Adam Dunn by the White Sox may bring the most value to fantasy owners.
Adam Dunn has always been known for two things: mammoth home runs and a penchant for striking out. What is not commonly known is that Dunn has an excellent eye at the plate and is always near the top of the leader board for walks and pitches per at bat each season. Although he has an impressive .380 on base percentage, his .250 batting average is well below other similar power hitting first basemen.
Known as Big Donkey, Dunn has compiled eight straight seasons with at least 38 home runs, and holds the fifth-lowest career at bat per home-run average in major league baseball history, behind only Mark McGwire, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and Jim Thome.
Fantasy owners that draft a slugger like Dunn must understand that with the great home run power comes a crippling batting average that must be balanced out with other high average players. In leagues that penalize for strikeouts, one must downgrade Dunn even further as he has averaged 183 K’s per season.
In 2011, Dunn joins a potent White Sox roster that includes sluggers Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin, all of whom have the potential to hit 30 or more home runs this season. In addition to being surrounded by talent, he will also face American League pitchers for the first time, many of whom have yet to face the imposing slugger. These two reasons lead me to believe that Dunn is poised for a solid season, especially considering where he will fall in most drafts.
I recommend targeting Dunn in the late middle rounds of a standard 12 team snake draft, with the goal of having him as a backup OF/IB or a DH. As I mentioned above, it is critical to balance out your roster with high average players as Dunn’s .250 average will certainly bring your team down.
This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com, the home of free fantasy news, rankings and advice.