By Fred Mitchell
Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox is on a steady pace to become a member of the revered 500 Home Run Club.
The slugging first baseman/designated hitter has a major league-leading 38 homers with more than a month left in the season. His personal one-season best of 46 homers came in 2004 when he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Dunn has 403 career homers and counting. At the age of 32, he should have another 5-8 productive years to propel him past the 500 milestone if he remains healthy. In fact, Dunn could very well hit 600 homers at his current pace.
“I am just trying to have good at-bats each time up,” Dunn told me recently. “I am not a big thinker. I pretty much have the same approach each game and I try to stick with it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”
It has pretty much been hit or miss with Dunn, the prototypical slugger. He is on the verge of his 2,000th career strikeout, yet his club-high 89 walks and .335 on-base-percentage help fans forget about his .204 batting average.
After suffering through the worst season of his major league career in 2011 (.159 avg., 11 homers and 177 strikeouts), Dunn has positioned himself as a prime candidate for Comeback Player of the Year in the American League.