Adam Dunn at First Base?

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Adam Dunn at First Base?

Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs fans – at least those who frequent message boards – have always been obsessed with Adam Dunn. Half absolutely love his unique combination of impressive power and impressive walking-ability (that is, not the ability to physically walk – the ability to take a lot of walks). Half absolutely hate his unique combination of gigantic strikeout numbers and knuckle-dragging defense.

But he’s a lefty power bat, which is obviously of some interest to the Cubs this offseason. Right field simply doesn’t seem like a realistic option for Dunn, and since Alfonso Soriano is inexplicably cemented in left field, what if Adam could replace Derrek Lee at first base? Would we even want him to?

There’s little anyone can do, short of exaggerating their claims … that will show that Adam Dunn is a better first baseman than Derrek Lee. Considering roughly the same cost for each and how difficult it would be to even trade Lee because of his NTC, there’s no point in doing this. Dunn is not better than Lee and no matter how many times people say he is, it’s not any more true than it was the first time. Derrek Lee has been overrated by Cubs fans, largely because of his ridiculous 2005 season, but he’s also been underrated by many the last couple years as well. Another Cubs Blog.

ACB came to this conclusion after a thorough and interesting “modern” statistical analysis that showed during the last two years, when combining defense and offense, Derrek Lee has been slightly better than Adam Dunn.

I enjoyed reading it, but I have a few beefs with the analysis:

  1. It is only the last two years. Yes, I know that three years ago, Lee barely played due to the Furcal-wrist-explosion injury, but that’s still a small sample size for guys who’ve had relatively long careers already.
  2. The analysis compares Derrek Lee’s defense at 1st to Adam Dunn’s defense in the outfield, instead of projecting what Adam Dunn’s defense would be at first. That’s like comparing apples to hairy, brutish oranges.
  3. Adam Dunn will be 29 this season. Derrek Lee will turn 34.

For my money, I’d take the chance on Adam Dunn, if Dunn v. Lee were the scenario on the table.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.