Adam Dunn Was The Way To Go, And Still Could Be…
I’m not going to draw you into another one of my diatribes on how the Mets needed to go after Adam Dunn last off season. I wasted too many words on my pursuit of Adam Dunn in the off season, and countless more words expressing my disappointment when he ultimately signed with the Nationals.
When Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal confirmed that Adam Dunn could change teams again, I held out hope that the Mets would finally get Adam Dunn before the trade deadline. Especially when they had Cory Sullivan holding down the fort in leftfield while Sheffield was on the DL. But of course, even that scenario wasn’t enough to get Omar Minaya to react.
Last October, I devoted my very first blog to Adam Dunn (the first of many). One of the things I mentioned was that at age 28, he was about to enter his prime years and that he still could improve offensively. That has proven to be the case as Dunn enjoys his best season ever at the plate with a .280 batting average, the highest in his career, along with a .407 OBP, .563 SLG and an astonishing .907 OPS.
He is on pace for his sixth straight 40+ homerun season, and his sixth straight 100+ walks season. Both are incredible achievements. Given his age and his homerun pace, he may hit his 500th homerun before his 33rd birthday. Wow…
The Mets will try and have you believe that Citi Field is responsible for the power outage of the 2009 Mets. Don’t you believe it for one second. Just ask Mark Reynolds or Chase Utley or even our own Daniel Murphy. The Mets futility in homeruns is 100% attributable to the lack of legit power hitters in their lineup.
The Mets do not have a true power hitter who can muscle one out of the park with one mighty swing of the bat. Wright and Beltran are not your prototypical power hitters. Carlos Delgado was the Mets’ one true slugger, but he won’t be back in 2010 which begs the question; who will carry the load for the Mets in 2010?
A better question is, who will play leftfield and first base for the Mets in 2010?
Here is a look at just how prodigious a power hitter Adam Dunn is.
The Mets are beginning to show signs of parading Angel Pagan to us as our new everyday left fielder. Nothing official yet, but remember that you heard it here first. Pagan of course, hit his first homer in two years just a few days ago; a grand slam to beat the D-backs. The same GM who convinced us that Dan Murphy would be the everyday leftfielder in 2009, has his sights set on proclaiming the same about Pagan for 2010, just wait and see. Of course, observant Mets fans know all to well that Pagan is just a solid fourth outfielder at best.
The Mets may have another opportunity to erase their egregious error in judgment this past off season. They can make amends by taking action and pursuing Adam Dunn with haste if he is placed on waivers by the Nats as is expected. Considering where the Mets stand, they may be in a good position to make a deal for him if the Nats truly want to get what prospects they can for him.
I thought it was pretty ironic that Baseball Reference has Darryl Strawberry listed as the number one ranked similar batter to Dunn from ages 25 through 28. Or maybe it’s just a good omen?
Lets not forget that Dunn is also one of the most durable players in the game, having averaged 158 games played in his last five seasons. He has played in 105 of the Nat’s 106 games this season. That’s something that should be very appealing to the Mets these days.
Does Dunn have his faults? Of course he does, who doesn’t? But I can assure you that he’d be a better defender in leftfield than Daniel Murphy ever was, and that he’ll strike out a tad bit more than David Wright, but with a heck of a lot more homers (29-7) that would have resulted in a dozen less one-run losses, if not more, had he been here from the start.
He won’t win you any gold gloves out there, but he gives the Mets a better chance of hoisting another World Series flag over Citi Field, than Fernando Tatis, Angel Pagan and Cory Sullivan ever would.
Look, it may be too late to salvage the 2009 season. But adding Dunn now would be a good first step toward putting out a much more improved offense in 2010, especially in the power department.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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