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Chris Carter and a Baseball Doppelganger

The Astros' DH is a statistical dead ringer for a certain, more-famous bopper. And yet no one pays any attention to Carter.

Bob Levey

Did you know there were two Adam Dunns in the big leagues last year? I mean, one went by a different name, sure, but they were the same guy.

Check this:

2013 statistics R HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG
Chris Carter 64 29 82 70 212 .223 .320 .451
Adam Dunn 60 34 86 76 189 .219 .320 .441

The first guy was the Adam Dunn who actually goes by Adam Dunn. The second guy was the one who goes by "Chris Carter." But I don't care, they're the same damn guy.

When you're trolling deep through the waiver wire, you have two options. Either you're looking to add a guy who is passable in a bunch of categories but actually helpful in none, or you are seeking a single-category stud, someone who might hurt you in batting average, and won't help you in some counting categories, but he's super-relevant in something.

Since the start of 2012, only 12 guys have homered at a better rate then Carter. One of them (of course) is Dunn, who hits a homer every 17.19 plate appearances. The rest of the list is dominated by studs: Chris Davis, Brandon Moss (who is ridiculously underrated), Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, David Ortiz, Nelson Cruz, Pedro Alvarez, and Ryan Braun. If you want a "category" guy, he's the prototype.

Now, I've had Carter on one of my rosters all season long. He was a late-round draft pick, and he's been the "well, if I have to drop someone, it'll be him" for a lot of that time, too. But one thing or another has kept him there, even when he was hitting .118/.233/.196 on April 18, even when he ended April at .153/.270/.329, with only three home runs.

As a result, even as a Carter owner, I kind of stopped paying attention to him. I put him in my lineup when Eric Hosmer or someone had an off day, but I scowled when I was doing it, and I pulled him out the next day. I didn't pay close attention.

(As an aside, all of us that play in too many fantasy leagues have a "least favorite" team, right? The one we just don't pay enough attention to? This is that one for me. I try, and I want to win, and when I'm on the site I focus, but let's just say that if I had to sacrifice one of my teams for all the others to win, it would be this one.)

Because I didn't pay close attention over the last month-plus, I didn't really notice that Carter remembered how to hit. Since the start of May, Carter's slash line is .225/.307/.500, with seven home runs. No, that .225 isn't a world-beater, but it's Adam Dunn-ian, which is what you want out of Carter. And it's way ahead of his end-of-April .153 average, which didn't even make sense.

On top of that, Carter's BABIP this season sits at .234, which is almost 50 points worse than his career average. His season batting average sits at .193, but it's going to rise. It's not going to be .280, but it's going to rise. And he's outfield-eligible in addition to his first-base slot.

Carter is 20 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues. (Also, apropos of nothing really, but he is the only current player in the Yahoo! player pool with the last name "Carter," which seems really weird.) There are some shallower leagues where him being unowned makes sense. But if Adam Dunn is owned in your league, Carter should be as well. They're the same damn guy.

I mean, I've never seen them in the same place at the same time.