02/19/07 4:54 PM ET
Dunn brings fresh perspective to camp
Slimmed-down slugger re-dedicates himself at plate, in field
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
"Adam has a chance to put up numbers in this game that only a very few guys have," Narron said. "What, he's only 27 years old? How many home runs does he have?"Dunn has 198 career homers. "He knows he can be a great player in the Major Leagues for quite a while," Narron continued. "I think the way he's come in shape here shows he's dedicated to being the very best player he can be. If he does that, the numbers will take care of [themselves]." For most of his seven-year career in the Majors, Dunn has been known mainly as the hulking strikeout-prone slugger that's launched tape-measure homers at ballparks around the league. Good defense was never part of that reputation, and for good reason. Dunn committed 13 errors last season and has been a below-average outfielder much of his career. Dunn wants that to change, too. He plans to work on his defense often with outfield coaches Billy Hatcher and Ed Napoleon. "That's something I probably took a little too lightly in the past," Dunn said. "That's going to be my main focus this spring. Not to just be a good [outfielder], I'm going to try and be a great one. I think I can." "I liked hearing what he had to say about playing defense and getting out there and working at it and being the best left fielder he can possibly be," Narron said. At this time last year, Dunn was preparing himself for a possible position change to first base. He had a new first baseman's glove and played some exhibition games there. "I have no plans of putting him over at first base," Narron declared on Monday. "Good, that'll work," Dunn said. "I'll concentrate on the main thing now." A leaner, meaner and more complete Dunn can only help the Reds be competitive in the NL Central race. "He's got a tremendous inner desire, inner drive to be an outstanding player," Narron said. "He just doesn't show it at times, or people don't see it. I don't think people see the drive he's got."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.