Saturday, September 15, 2007

Adam Dunn's Late Season Fade?

One of the biggest stories of the offseason for the Reds was the news that Adam Dunn had spent the offseason working out and was reporting to camp in the best shape of his career.

This was welcome news to the Reds nation, as Dunn was coming off an appalling finish to the 2006 season. While Dunn receives much unwarranted criticism, it's hard to argue that he consistently fades away late in the season. Dunn's numbers have suffered over recent years, not because his peak level of production had fallen off, but rather because Dunn has been unable to sustain that peak level in the hot summer months.

Dunn's August and September production has consistently fallen off and dragged down his seasonal averages to much lower levels. Dunn didn't really need to take his offensive performance to a new level, but rather become more successful at maintaining that level over the entire season.

It appears that Dunn's offseason conditioning program may be paying off in a big, big way, as his 2nd half performance in 2007 has actually been better than his first half production. Being in better shape seems to have enabled Dunn to avoid the late season fatigue that has characterized his previous seasons. Accordingly, 2007 may be his finest ever, which is due in no small part to Dunn performing better in the 2nd half than he did in the 1st.

The moral of the story seems to be, sometimes, hardwork pays off.

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