If you are anything like me, you like to spend a lot of time on Baseball-Reference. Some would say: “Too much time.” Those people who qualify as “some” would be my wife. But I disagree. Baseball-Reference is like having a friend. A very smart friend. You need to make time for those friends. And I do.
Anyway, back to perusing on Baseball-Reference.
Yesterday, I stumbled across this tweet. Let that roll around in your mouth for a little bit. Let it sit on your tongue. Really taste it. Now, look at this list:
That’s a pretty impressive list even when you account for the 10 players on that list who are either active, not eligible for the Hall of Fame or suspected to having used steroids or HGH. And Adam Dunn is only 64 home runs away from joining that list, and 69 home runs from passing Eddie Murray. Which brings me to the question: Is Adam Dunn a future Hall of Famer?
The snap answer: Not just no, but Hell no. Why would anybody even ask that? But then, here is an abbreviated list of players that Adam Dunn is rated as being similar to through his age-32 season according to Baseball-Reference:
For the entire list, go here.
But we aren’t going to sit here and compare Dunn to those three Hall of Famers. Any possible similarity would immediately be negated by the fact that, by age-32, the lowest bWAR total among the three is Harmon Killebrew’s 43.3. Through age 32, Dunn had a bWAR of 16.7. Through his age-33 season (this season) his bWAR total is…16.7. And considering he should be a permanent DH from this point on in his career, I would not expect that number to creep up any higher. This is the career path for a power hitter who has the defensive range of a parking meter.
But none of that changes the number, “500.” And at 33 years old, there is always room on a team for a left handed hitter with thunder in his bat. And with Dunn averaging 38 home runs per 162 games, it would take him two seasons to reach the 500 home run milestone. And then, what if he keeps playing? What if he goes all Jim Thome on baseball and keeps getting at bats into his 40’s? What if he gets to 600 home runs? Do they have a wing in Cooperstown for Three True Outcome players?
It shouldn’t surprise me if, in the future, Adam Dunn gains induction into the Hall of Fame. There plenty of uninspiring inductees that adorn the halls of Cooperstown (I’m looking at you, Jim Rice). And if Jack Morris keeps drawing support, he would be another. Even though Dunn will have an enormous amount of home runs upon retiring, his inclusion would be met with a very, “Really? That guy?” reaction. I guess our (my) only hope is that the old guard of Hall of Fame voters has been phased out by then, and a slew of new voters who are not afraid to quote a players wOBA have taken their place. Because, if that doesn’t happen, there stands a very good chance that we will one day be saying: “Adam Dunn, Hall of Famer.” And that simply cannot happen.