Sox Drawer: Dunn needs to be more aggressive

Sox Drawer: Dunn needs to be more aggressive
February 17, 2013, 4:15 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz -- When a slugger like Adam Dunn belts 41 home runs and strikes out 222 times like he did last season, you might assume that the last thing he needs to be is more aggressive.  

Almost half of his total hits left the yard. About a third of his outs were strikeouts. 

The man was a home run or bust machine.

But in 2013, the White Sox hope to see a more effective Adam Dunn, one who’s more offensive on offense.

“That’s going to be an emphasis this spring, just try to be more aggressive and not get myself too deep in counts,” Dunn revealed Sunday. “It’s going to be a lot harder said than done. It’s going to give me something to work on in the spring. Instead of being so selective early, especially first pitch.”

For a guy who was only one strikeout away from tying the major league single-season record, Dunn actually has a good eye at the plate. He led the majors with 105 walks. The problem is he’s often too picky.

“Although his strikeouts are above 200, and to try to ask somebody to be more aggressive sounds crazy, but we believe he took a lot of pitches that were too close,” said hitting coach Jeff Manto. “He took a lot of two-pitch strikes that probably he could have hit to left-center field. And we talked to him about it so far and he’s definitely receptive.”

On the day the full squad reported to camp, the collapse of last September was deep in the rear-view mirror. Most would assume the players have gotten over it. Not Dunn.

“I don’t think we have. I know I haven’t,” he said. “That’s something, I want to remember how it felt basically getting knocked out of first place because I know I didn’t like it very much and I don’t want it to happen again. You work so hard to put yourself in the position we were in and just to let stupid things happen. Little stupid injuries here and there. We just didn’t play well at the end.”