The recent acquisition of Adam Dunn showed the baseball world that the Oakland A’s were in need of a slugger. The month of August was the first losing month with a 12-17 record for the Athletics since the 2012 season. As a team, they only batted .223 for August with a .345 SLG. So everyone was excited to see what Dunn would bring to the table and he did not disappoint. In his first at bat in green and gold, Dunn homered to drive in two runs in front of a screaming sold out crowd. Dunn is bound to make an impact in Oakland and here are five reason as to why he will help the Oakland A’s pass the Los Angeles Angels to win the West.
1) The Oakland A’s needed another strong bat
Since trading Yoenis Cespedes, the Oakland A’s have struggled to produce runs. Due to the lack of production from his teammates, Josh Donaldson now solely leads his team in batting average, homers, RBI, OPS, and hits. Cespedes and Dunn have similar batting profiles so Dunn will fill the void well. Additionally, having another power bat on the team will take some of the pressure off of the other A’s hitters.
Dunn has a career OPS of .857 with a career slugging percentage of .492. Even though his batting average is only .224 this season, he has 56 RBI and is currently seventh in the AL for walks with 65 – only 5 of them were intentional. Let’s hope that Dunn’s homer during his first at-bat with the Oakland A’s is a good sign of what is to come from him during the last month of the season and for the postseason.
2) Dunn is hungry for a playoff appearance
Even though Dunn says he will probably retire after this season, he told the press cannot think of a better way to go out then to win his first World Series ring after 13 years in the MLB. Dunn also stated that he not only believes that the Oakland A’s will win the World Series this year, but that he KNOWS the Athletics will win in the postseason this year. With this passionate and winning attitude, Dunn can lift the Oakland A’s spirits and help them recover from a terrible August.
3) Dunn is a home run hitter
Dunn is known mostly for his ability to hit long balls. He has 461 career home runs and his season HR average is 32.9. Over the past three years, Dunn’s at-bats per home run ratio is one homer every 14.8 at-bats. The rest of the Oakland A’s players are known for getting on base anyway possible – or as they would put it, “playing true green collar baseball”. If any of the first three batters in the Athletics lineup are able to get on base, there is a good chance they could score on a home run from Dunn. Dunn was not as productive as he is usually during the first half of the season, so conceivably he could get hot in September to make up for it.
4) Dunn is a great platoon player
The Oakland A’s love a good platoon player so that they can shape and build their lineup based on the opposing pitcher. And, as it turns out, Dunn tends to find great success against right handed pitchers and not lefties. Out of the 21 home runs Dunn has hit this season, 19 of them have been against right handed pitchers. Additionally, his OPS against right handed pitchers is .823 while it is only .562 against lefties. So, due to the Oakland A’s expert platooning ways, expect to see Dunn in the lineup when facing righties.
5) Veteran experience
This may not be an extremely important reason as to why Dunn will help the A’s win the West since he has never seen the postseason. However, the Oakland A’s are a fairly young team. Dunn has 13 years of experience playing in the MLB and is the third oldest player on the team behind Nick Punto and Coco Crisp. He could provide advice to some of the younger players who are struggling to connect at the plate. His humor could provide some added relief in the dugout. His experience playing on four different teams in the MLB could provide some tricks of the trade tips for his new teammate. Whatever role his experience may play, it will definitely help round out this team of youngsters.
Many believe that Dunn will help turn the Oakland A’s luck around. And, after what he did in Monday night’s game, it does seem as though Dunn and his bat will make a big impact in Oakland. With the Oakland A’s only 4 games behind the Angels, Dunn will hopefully give the Athletics the offensive jolt they need to take the West.
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