The Chicago White Sox are hanging around first place again, and one of the reasons is designated hitter Adam Dunn.
Yes, that Adam Dunn, who more than a few were dismissing last season when he handed in a .159 batting average, 11 homers (about 30 fewer than expected) and knocked in 42.
He struck out 177 times in 496 at-bats. You do the math, please.
This was the same guy who over eight straight seasons hit 38 homers or more; 40 or more in six of those. The lone year in those eight he didn’t knock in 100 runs was 2006, when he drove home 92.
At 31, people were calling him finished.
He’s not, although he does have to work on that .225 batting average, about 20 points below his usual.
Dunn, who was with the initial Dayton Dragons in 2000, leads the majors in homers with 23. He had 53 RBIs as of Thursday. He has struck out 109 times — who wouldn’t with that large strike zone (Dunn stands 6-foot-6) — but he has also walked 55 times, on a run to his ninth season of 100 or more walks.
He knows the strike zone.
With 388 homers, he should easily reach 400, most likely this year. If last year was the anomaly, not this one, he’ll reach 500 in a few years and maybe even come close to 600.
That’s Hall of Fame territory if he can figure out a better batting average.
I just hope they’ve stopped booing him in Chicago. He got too much of that in Cincinnati, which he didn’t deserve.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2157 or mkatz @DaytonDailyNews.com.