As the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers still have two games left in this series (Tuesday was a rainout), both of these two AL Central teams have many meetings still ahead this season.
With these two foes of the AL Central comes comparisons, and today, we’ll take a look at Adam Dunn of the White Sox and Victor Martinez of the Tigers.
• A surprising stat
Here is the most surprising stat … Dunn, a power hitter, has fewer homers than Martinez.
While Martinez has been more of a contact/gap hitter for most of his career, who does drive in runs, he has shown more power than Dunn in 2014.
Martinez has 15 homers, compared to Dunn’s 11, but part of that could be more at-bats for Martinez (226), while Dunn only has 178.
Could Dunn have significantly more at the end of the season? It is very possible, because Dunn is a guy that can get hot when it comes to the power stroke, while Martinez may just be hitting all of them at the beginning of the season.
• Same as always
Where Martinez always crushes Dunn is bating average.
Martinez is hitting .332 right now, and is a .304 career hitter. Dunn, due to his big stroke and light-tower power, will usually hit for a lower average.
Currently (before Wednesday, June 11), Dunn is hitting .236; however, his average has been plummeting, considering it was much higher at the end of April. For his career, Dunn is a .238 hitter, but it is much lower than that since he has come over to the White Sox.
• Where they are close
Here is where they are close … RBIs.
Usually, both will be around 80-100 RBIs per season, with Martinez’s career-high in RBIs being 114 (2007 with the Cleveland Indians), while Dunn’s is 106 (’07 with the Cincinnati Reds).
Dunn has recorded 100-plus RBIs six times, while Martinez has reached the 100-plus RBI mark four times in his career.
Keep in mind that Martinez missed all of ’12 due to injury, and that Dunn started playing in the majors in 2001 (one year before Martinez).
• Contrast in Style
While Dunn is a walk/swing-for-the-fences type of hitter, Martinez prefers to make contact.
Martinez’s career-high in strikeouts is 76, while Dunn has struck out 150 times in 11 different seasons. On the flip side, Dunn has walked 100 times in eight seasons.
The most walks Martinez has ever taken is 75 (’09 with the Indians and Boston Red Sox).
• Pick One
If I could choose one of these two players, while I love the power streaks and batting eye of Dunn, I would choose Martinez.
The ability to make contact and not strike out during a rally is huge, and Martinez also finds a way to knock in big runs.
Both are good run producers, left-handed (Martinez switch-hits) and are middle of the order hitters, but the big tipping point for me is that when Martinez is up with a man on third, he drives him in.
The same cannot be said for Dunn, who often strikes out. High-average, clutch run producers are hard to find, which is why in the end, I go with Martinez.
Stats for this article are from ESPN.com.