Hayman’s Hatorade: Adam Dunn

By Ryan Hayman
-Drink it up, bitches. 

I’ve been playing fantasy baseball for neigh on a decade now and every single year, without fail, there is always one player who above all others absolutely shits the bed, doesn’t earn anywhere close to his draft day value and aids in the submarining of the unfortunate team that drafted him.

There have been many players who by all accounts have greatly underpreformed this season, be it through injury, ineptitude or a combination of both. Names such as Carl Crawford, Josh Johnson and Justin Mourneau come to mind. But the player that absolutely, hands-down takes the cake is one Adam Dunn.

I have never witenessed such a precipitous drop off not only from one season to the next but from an entire career to the next season. The “Big Donkey” was the model of consistency, averaging 37HR a year since his first full season in 2002, including hitting at least 40HR every year from 2004-2008. We’re talking unprecedented power consistency here folks, an indispensable fantasy asset. You know exactly what you’re going to get year in and year out. And then 2011 happened. After singing the first big-money contract of his career with the Chicago White Sox, four years and $56 million dollars, Adam Dunn forgot he was Adam Dunn. Mark my words, there will be off-season CT scans and psychological evaluations.

As of August 26th, he currently has 11HR with an OPS of .584. .584! Dunn has averaged an OPS of .902 over his career prior to this season. Let’s take a quick look at some of the other Bill Bergen Memorial All-Stars with a higher OPS than Dunn this year: Omar Vizquel, Orlando Cabrera, Miguel Tejada, Angel Sanchez. Super…Adam Dunn has gone from a 6-ft 6-in, 285lb, beef-eating Texan who fucking HATED baseballs to a light-hitting, past-his-prime, Hispanic middle-infielder. Awesome. I’m psyched he was one of my six keepers this year and that I traded away Clayton Kershaw last year to get him.

Luckily I’m still going to make the playoffs because I kick ass at fantasy baseball. I hung onto that worthless donkey for four months, trying to sell it to any and all passers by with no takers, until finally I couldn’t take it any more and put it out to pasture. Two months later it’s still there, as useless as mud flaps on a helicopter.

It begs the question; what on earth caused this? There have been no major injuries or off-the-field distractions. One can’t help but raise an eyebrow in the direction of professional baseball’s skeleton in the closet, “The Man in White”. Although I suppose that skeleton has been out of the closet for some time now. Does that make the skeleton gay? I’m not sure. Is Adam Dunn gay? Couldn’t tell ya…not that there’d be anything wrong with it if he was. Either way, he’s been doing nothing but sucking. In the words of Wes Mantooth, I hate you, Adam Dunn. I hate you.


Fantasy Focus: Baseball buy-lows, Josh Reddick

I was absolutely pissed when Jacoby Ellsbury was taken one draft pick ahead of me, and I only had myself to blame. I knew he’d be a super-stud this year, and should have locked him up the way I did Agonz. My outfield is pretty weak and with G. Sizemore forgetting how to play ball (or heal for that matter), I took a chance on a “role player” who comes out to the plate with bagpipes blaring. Dropkick Murphy’s really are a good judge of character.

His name is Josh Reddick, and this guy is legit. He’s barely owned in any leagues, but the guy IS the Red Sox answer to right field (now and for seasons to come). While his role as a permanent starter is still somewhat in question (although Francona says he is the starter now), it’s hard to argue with his success.

He’s way more Jacoby than Drew, and grinds out every game, beats out plays and lays-the-f-out on everything (Stout?). Just watch this “Reddickulous” home-run-robbing catch. Even Jacobs was impressed:

Reddick is a great fielder (obviously) and beats Drew in the defense department. Would JD have spiderman-ed the catch or just morosely watched it sail into the stands? Would he have even been bothered that the game was lost? Probably not. I find myself asking: JD WHO?

Pretty Swings but you still gotta make contact with the ball...

As for offense, sure JD has a “beautiful” swing–when he strikes out on 1-2-3 fastballs. I think the guy was hitting under .240 before he “went on the DL,” aka he got put out to pasture.  By comparison, Reddick has put up these numbers since being called up to the Majors on June 18th: .316 BA, 8 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 19 RBI, and 23 runs. I know it’s a small sample size (the guys seen just over 90 at-bats), but he’s demonstrated consistent power and average. There was a reason the Sox didn’t enter the Beltran/Pence right field sweepstakes. They had a low cost alternative with huge potential reward.

Jacoby came up as an answer to a Coco Crisp injury and the sox haven’t looked back since. I knew, watching Jacoby wreck havoc on the Angels in the 2008 post season, that this guy was a franchise player. Now when I watch Reddick’s plate appearances I think the same thing. Get this guy on your team.

Other Fantasy Baseball Buy-lows:

Brett Lawrie (Toronto’s top prospect) — He’s rising though, so get him quick. Hit a grand slam a few days ago and seems pumped up to play for his native team.

Alfredo Aceves (SP/RP Boston) — He’s got 8 wins this year and a save. He’s now a closer/helper when wake or a young guy pitches, but he has saved my ass many a week. He’s a gunslinger for hire. A ronin rolling through late innings and stealing a win.

Javvy Guerra (closer-LAD) — In some leagues this guy is owned by more than 50%, in others, less than 20%. I picked him up way back because everyone in the LAD bullpen was on the DL. Since then he’s done far exceeded expectations: 2-0 for wins and 10/10 in save opportunities. When Broxton comes back, LAD will have some decisions to make. Future or present? Young guns are rising up (as is the closer game).