Posted by dahsdebater on 8/12/2013 5:05:00 PM (view original):
Dunn's not in his prime now. At all. Here are a few of my calculations:
The 10 year average is that 68% of all outs in play with 1 out and a runner on 3rd score the runner. So on an out in play you have a run-scoring probability of 68% + .32*.269 (most of the season Konerko has hit behind Dunn, and Konerko is hitting .269 with 2 outs). 76.6% chance of scoring at least one run.
Dunn K's, there's only the .269% chance of Konerko driving in the run. .766-.269 ~ .5. So you've lost 50% of a run with that K. Obviously if there are other runners on first the numbers change a bit, since double plays become a factor. Even so you're still costing a significant fraction of a run by striking out.
I'll do the calculations later to try to figure out the cost of swinging away vs. not swinging away, but this is in direct response to your statement that "an out is an out, it's better not to get too caught up in strikeouts," which is one of the primary mantras of the sabermetrics guys - including myself at times - but is clearly wrong when we've limited ourselves to this specific scenario.
Just taking a look at Dunn's career splits, it looks like he does shorten up a tiny bit. With a runner on 3rd and less than two outs, he cuts down on his ks slightly but increases his average/obp/slg significantly.
Career per 162 games: 28 HR, 96 RBI, 239/368/498, 191 Ks.
Unadjusted career runner on 3rd, less than 2 outs: 19 HR, 231 RBI, 289/420/548, 113 Ks.
Adjust those to 162 games average: 28 HR, 348 RBI, 289/420/548, 170 Ks.