In order to improve his batting average and take advantage of what the opposition gives him, Adam Dunn has chosen to sacrifice some power.
But it won’t rob Dunn of his long ball potential entirely.
Dunn, who has 436 career home runs, hit his 30th of the season on Monday night. It’s the ninth time in 13 seasons Dunn has reached the 30-homer plateau and manager Robin Ventura doesn’t foresee it being the last, either.
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For nearly three months now, Dunn has tried to hit the ball to the left side with more frequency to beat the way teams have defended him. Even so, Dunn has continued to hit with authority. He has 17 homers in his last 69 games.
“He can still hit homers,” Ventura said. “I just think it makes him a bigger threat because he has power to go the other way. He can still take a walk like he did last night. He’s had better at-bats over that period of when he’s really shifted his focus on being able to go the other way a bit more than before.”
Dunn’s batting average has climbed 79 points to .235 since June 8 when he chose to evolve from a pull-hitter into an all-fields approach.
In that span, Dunn has 17 homers and 48 RBIs to accompany a .299/.399/.545 slash line. While he knows the new approach will naturally remove some of power, it won’t sap him completely.
“I don’t feel like I can’t hit homers,” Dunn said earlier this month. “I’m not going up saying ‘Watch this pretty single to left.’ Ain’t happening. But what I’ve done a lot better job, for the most part when I do get two strikes, is find a way to put it in play or slap it somewhere and see what happens.”