Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 4/17/12

In the early stages of the season, I’ve done a lot of talking about the trio that I have labeled “the comeback kids”: Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, and of course Adam Dunn.

These three players were at one point All Stars at the top of the league, but they recently have struggled to contribute to the White Sox winning ball games.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I have very high expectations for Peavy. Now let’s get down to how I think the big man will perform.

The White Sox need Adam Dunn to return for his old form in 2012 if they want to compete with the Tigers. (Photo by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons)

Will Adam Dunn Rebound In 2012?

In 2012, I expect Adam Dunn to make huge strides.

I see his average increasing by over 50 points, his home run total more than doubling, and his OBP being at a steady rate all year. If you didn’t know how Dunn performed last season, you might think I am predicting the best hitting season in baseball history.

However, the former National League star infamously hit just .159 with 11 HR and 42 RBI in 2011 for the White Sox. As you all remember, those numbers may not even do justice to how bad he was from start to finish.

We’re talking about the worst numbers a designated hitter has ever put up! Maybe any hitter…ever.

So, back to my predictions…

For Adam Dunn, I’ll give you an exact stat line: I’m predicting a .222 batting average, 27 HR, and 78 RBI.

Those numbers are still not what Kenny Williams expected when he signed the free agent Dunn, but they’d be a huge boost for this 2012 White Sox team trying to surprise the masses.

So far this year, Dunn looks a lot better at the plate. His numbers don’t quite show that yet, but he is seeing a lot of pitches, making solid contact, and he looks to have his head up even when he does strike out or get retired.

If Dunn can reach the level of production I’m predicting, there is no doubt it would be as instrumental as anything in Chicago’s attempt to shock the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central this year.

Who knows, maybe Dunn could even surpass my projected numbers and produce like he did throughout all of his career, hitting 40 HR and driving in about 100 runs. I’m not going to expect it, but at least pitchers still have to remember what Dunn is capable of every time they face him.

Hopefully that thought alone can make Dunn a continued presence in the White Sox lineup and give Adam the boost of confidence he needs this season.

*****

This article originally appeared at GrabSomeBench.com, where Zach blogs about the Chicago White Sox. He also tweets about them regularly at @Grab_Some_Bench.


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