Friday, December 03, 2010

Dunn or Martinez: Who got the better player? The White Sox or Tigers?

Will Adam Dunn signing with the White Sox, one of the Tigers' main rivals in the American League Central, become a nightmare?
Bottom line, it was either Dunn or Victor Martinez for the Tigers. Carl Crawford was unlikely, and probably, too, was Jayson Werth. The Tigers landed Martinez, a solid acquisition, for sure.
All things equal, just based on hitting, I would have taken Dunn, though. He has unique power, maybe the best in the game. And while he strikes out a lot, he walks an inordinate amount as well. That's why his OPS is much higher than that of Martinez, despite a considerably lower batting average. Martinez figures to hit between 18 and 22 home runs with plenty of doubles.
These are two polar opposite hitters. Dunn rarely puts the ball in play. It's either a strikeout, walk or home run. At least it seems. Martinez usually puts the ball in play. He doesn't walk or strikeout that much.
The problem with Dunn is that he no longer is remotely even an average outfielder. He is a first baseman, who doesn't want to become a full-time DH in his early 30s. Martinez still catches well enough to be placed there a few days a week. Obviously, the Tigers are boxed in at first with Miguel Cabrera, who is not only a premier hitter, but has become very good defensively. They aren't boxed in with Alex Avila at catcher. So in that way, signing Martinez instead of Dunn made perfect sense. It's just it's ominous that Dunn has landed with a division foe that plays its games in such a band box ball park.
We'll see how he adjusts to the American League, but he might hit 50 runs this season.


Blogger Barry said...

Pat. I like the theory of signing and drafting players that fit your park. Dunn in RF would have been hard to take and if Tigers fan can't handle Inge 150 K than Dunn 200K is out the question. Pitchers should love to pitch in Comerica Park and the 300 avg hitter keep their average near 300 due to the open space. Tigers need to run an advertisement Comerica will enhanced 300 avg hitters and promote speed and defensive and harder for pitchers give up the long ball. V-Mart is an excellent signing. We needed a left-handed and we got one.

11:57 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I must be alone in this, but I will take a guy who hits a line drive over the infield and gets on base over the slammer.

We have a slammer already.

As I have always seen it - the key is the big inning - and you're much more likely to get a big inning by stringing hits together with the skilled hitter than the hard swinging slammer.

I like Martinez here. The question is do you bat him before or after Cabrera. Put him before Cabrera - and you have a shot at two guys on base before Cabrera hits - but Cabrera will get walked - put him after Cabrera, and are you really protecting Cabrera - or breaking up a hitting string.

Our key players again appear to be Guillen and Ordonez being healthy and even having Ordonez back.

As you think this out, you really do continue to miss Placido.

9:35 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the Tigers, Martinez was the better choice, he gives the team flexibility. I don't think Dunn makes the Sox world beaters. He is a typical Sox player, a big lumbering slow slugger. Dunn keeps the Sox the same as they have been. He just replaces Thome. I think the Tigers should consider trading for Jose Reyes, who is on the market. Reyes at the top of the order with Jackson would be great. Give up Sizemore, a young outfielder and Oliver for him and the Tigers would then have a dynamic lineup.


10:14 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I was pleased when the Tigers signed Martinez, partly because of knowing that meant Adam Dunn would not be coming to the Tigers.

A career .300 hitter vs. a .250 hitter who hits more HRs. But look a little closer. Martinez (career) strikes out about 11.6% of the time. Dunn strikes out 27.3% of the time.

With runners in scoring position (career) Martinez has 315 hits and 140 strikeouts in 1203 plate appearances. Dunn has 293 hits and 440 strikeouts in 1657 plate appearances.

Dunn may hit a lot of home runs, but that is all he does. The only thing he hits better than Martinez is air. Let Chicago have him.

9:56 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think if it were just DH, I'd take Dunn. But Martinez is a better catcher than Dunn is outfielder.

12:08 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Don't think you're alone on it at all. Dunn is frustrating to watch. Martinez is more consistent and aggressive as a hitter. But Dunn does have much higher on base percentage and OPS because of power and walks.

12:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

White Sox are puzzling to me. I could envision Dunn having a high payoff for them or being a bust. Interesting he signed with that particular team.

12:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I do agree with you I'd rather have Martinez up in the clutch rather Dunn - given the choice.

12:12 PM 

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