Introducing the Adam Dunn Hat Trick

Title: Introducing the Adam Dunn Hat Trick
Date: July 8, 2013
Original Source: Fangraphs
Synopsis: Making my debut on Fangraphs – the proper side, not the roto side – I wrote about players who manage to walk, strikeout and homer in the same game.

A goal, an assist and a fight. A gino, a helper and a tilly. That’s The Gordie Howe Hat Trick, a rare feat in the game of hockey that honors the gritty and the skilled. It’s a feat that its namesake, Mr. Hockey himself, actually only did twice in his career – it’s named more for his career-long achievements in point production and face punching.

Well, it’s high time that baseball got a hat trick of its own. So today, with a hat tip to David Laurila for the idea, we’re introducing the Adam Dunn Hat Trick.

The Adam Dunn Hat Trick is simple – just strike out, walk and homer in the same game. If the name needs further explaining, consider than Dunn has a 16% career walk rate and a 28.3% career strikeout rate with 429 home runs, making him a prince of Three True Outcomes. Balls in play are not for Adam Dunn.

And thanks to Baseball Reference’s Play Index, it’s easy to go back as far as 1916 and count the number of Adam Dunn Hat Tricks that baseball has witnessed for the past century. It shouldn’t surprise you, based on the historical Three True Outcomes trend, that a few modern day players rank high on our list.

But first, a question: should the feat be named after the most prolific TTO hitter we’ve seen, Dunn, or the man who has accomplished the feat more times than anyone else, Jim Thome? Perhaps it should be The Jim Thome Hat Trick? Thome has 154 instances where he walked, struck out and hit a home run in the same game, a ridiculous 6.1% of his career games. Dunn, meanwhile, is the active leader and fifth overall with 113 ADHTs, or 6.3% of his career games. It’s close enough that I’m going to keep it as The Adam Dunn Hat Trick, though you could make a case for Thome,Mark McGwireBabe Ruth or Barry Bonds as well.

Continue reading at Fangraphs.

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