It comes with the territory. Power hitters tend to strike out more. But Dunn feels he can do something about the strikeout totals this year. Known as a patient batter, who led the major leagues in pitches per plate appearance (4.43), Dunn not only had the most strikeouts in baseball last year, he also had the most walks (105).
Both of the strikeout and walks totals could take a hit with his new strategy.
“I think that’s going to be an emphasis this spring is trying to be more aggressive, not get myself too deep into counts,” Dunn said. “It’s kind of to give me something to work on this spring instead of being so selective early, especially first pitch.”
Of course, there is no promise that he will continue the approach in the regular season, just that he will try it on for size in Cactus League play.
Manager Robin Ventura hopes that Dunn does take the aggressive style with him when the club leaves the desert.
“You want him to be more aggressive,” Ventura said. “A guy like him, there is something about hitting earlier in the count instead of taking pitches that are close or just off. Athletically he has the ability to expand the zone a little. We’re not talking about expanding the zone and swinging and missing. You’re talking about being a little more aggressive, going out of the zone and make contact.”