I'm of the opinion that Dunn's career is on the downslide. Some will point to his age and say his "peak" years still lie ahead. I don't think so. But of all the things missing from Adam Dunn's baseball game (and the list is long)..... perhaps savvy is one of the most important and glaring......
savvy - "practical understanding; shrewdness or intelligence; common sense"
Dunn's game lacks intelligence. His game lacks gamesmanship. His game lacks shrewdness. I can imagine him gunslinging back in his grid iron days. But I doubt he was a Joe Montana.
When you have a hand in poker one strategy is to raise "a little". Send out an "invite" for others to call you... maybe even raise you. With Dunn there is no cat and mouse. Dunn swings at his pitches and tries to hit them over the fence. Period.
Muhammad Ali had the "rope a dope". Good football defenses "bend but don't break". With 2 outs a good pitcher might give 2 free bases on balls just to get to the hitter he wants to strikeout to end the inning and win the game.
Dunn doesn't swing at pitches that aren't strikes very often. Is that good? In one sense .... probably yes. However, in poker there are times you raise a not very good hand and cost yourself chips just so you can be in a better position to win lots of chips on a big hand later in the game.
Dunn has no such savvy. Suppose with a man on second (first base open) and one or two outs Dunn had the game to be aggressive on the first pitch...even the second pitch. Suppose he went down 0-1. Then maybe got in a hole 1-2. A pitcher may have been planning to pitch around the donkey but if he gets up on him 1-2 awfully tough to not take one or two more tries at getting the out. If Dunn had the game and the "smarts" he'd know what was coming and if he had the skill the result could be an opposite field double to drive in the run and put himself on second base.
Alas, you'll see no such savvy from Adam Dunn. Adam is a walkman. Adam is HR/K/BB. You'll always feel like you have the short straw with Adam Dunn.