Adam Dunn signed a two year twenty million dollar contract yesterday with the Washington Nationals. The deal became official today meaning the Nationals now have a guy they can build their team around. Dunn will wear number 32. Sure Dunn strikes out a ton and stinks at fielding but he hits a ton of home runs and that is what the Nationals needed and wanted. Dunn will join third baseman Ryan Zimmerman in the middle of the order. Dunn is like Babe Ruth he either hits a home run or strikes out trying. Now they obviously are very different besides that but name ten other major league players who either hit a home run or strike out. Last season with the Reds and Diamondbacks Dunn hit .236 with forty home runs, 100 RBI’s, two stolen bases, 122 hits, and 164 strike outs. His carer stats include a .247 batting average with 278 home runs, 955 hits, 278 home runs, 672 RBI’s, and 59 stolen bases. Dunn can play first base and the outfield and at those two positions he has a .974 carer fielding percentage. 2009 will be Dunn’s ninth major league season. He spent eight and a half with the Reds and half a season with the Diamondbacks after the Dodgers traded for Manny Ramirez. Dunn will mostly play first moving last years starting first baseman, Nick Johnson to the bench. Dunn could also play a little left and right. Josh Willingham and Elijah Dukes are the teams starters in left field and right field respectively. Dunn is a one time all-star who made the game in 2002. He went zero for one in that game with a walk. Dunn is 29 years old and I would rate this move a ten out of ten. Sure he isn’t the best player but like I said before the Nationals needed a bat and they got one.
Andre Ethier is 26 years old. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003. He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the second round in 2003. Ethier has a carer batting average of .299, with 44 home runs, 196 RBI’s, 409 hits, and eleven stolen bases. He has a .981 fielding percentage in the outfield. He became a Dodger when he was traded on December 14, 2005 from Oakland for Milton Bradley, who is now with the Chicago Cubs. In his rookie year Ethier hit .308, with 11 home runs, 55 RBI’s, 122 hits, and five stolen bases in 126 games. He finished tied for fifth in rookie of the year voting behind Hanley Ramirez the winner, Ryan Zimmerman, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, and tied with Matt Cain. This season he hit .305, with 20 home runs, 77 RBI’s, 160 hits, and six stolen bases in 141 games. He was nominated as the Dodgers nominee for the 2008 National League Hank Aaron Award. He lost to Aramis Ramirez of the Chicago Cubs though. After Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers Ethier and Ramirez became on fire. Ethier batted in the three hole and Manny batted cleanup or vis versa. It seemed like every day he or Manny was hitting a home run! He Ethier is 6’2 and weighs 210 pounds. Ethier has an MLBlog called Dining With Dre’ where he is a food critic. Ethier has never been an all-star. He went to the postseason twice in 2006 and 2008. In 2006 he had one at bat where he didn’t get a hit or walked. In 2008 he played in the divisional series and the NLCS. He batted .188, with zero home runs, zero RBI’s, six hits, and zero stolen bases in eight games. Andre may not have better stats than Russell Martin or Chad Billingsley but I think in the future he will best. It is to early to predict his carer because he hasn’t had his breakout year yet, but some could argue that 2008 was his break out year. I think though Ethier will get 3,000 hits.
2. Russell Martin
3. Chad Billignsley
4. James Loney
5. Matt Kemp
Justin Upton is only 21 years old! He is only the second youngest player in baseball behind Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He never went to college but went to Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Upton was the Diamondbacks first pick in the 2005 draft as a shortstop. Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, Travis Buck, Clay Buchholz, and Micah Owings were all drafted in 2005. Talk about a great draft class! He latter switched to a center fielder because Stephen Drew, J.D. Drew’s brother was already there and then moved to right, because Chris Young was already in center field. Upton has a carer average of .242, 17 home runs, 42 RBI’s, three stolen bases, and 120 hits. He also has a carer .939 fielding percentage, in right field. The 2007 season was Upton’s first. He was called up after Carlos Quentin (who is now with the Chicago White Sox) got injured. That season he had a batting average of .221, with two home runs, 31 hits, eleven RBI’s, and two stolen bases in 43 games. In the 2007 playoffs he batted .357, with one RBI, zero home runs, five hits, and one stolen base. In his first full season, the 2008 season he batted .250, with 15 home runs, 42 RBI’s, and one stolen base. Upton hasn’t won any awards or honors yet as a major league player. He was though USA Today’s minor league player of the year in 2007 and as a senior in high school he was Gatorade’s high school player of the year. Upton’s body is much like Edinson Volquez. Upton is 6 foot two inches, 205 pounds. Volquez is six foot, and weighs 200 pounds. Upton will not play for team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. His brother, B.J. Upton is the center fielder for the Tampa Bay Rays. Upton’s major league debut exactly three years after his brother made his. It is to early to predict Upton’s carer because he hasn’t had his break out year yet, but I would say maybe 3,000 hits if he stays heathy. I think the 2009 season will be his breakout year and if not 2009 then 2010. Upton is a very promising player he just needs to practice.
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2. Stephen Drew
3. Chris Young
4. Mark Reynolds
5. Max Scherzer