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Adam Lind, a Tale of Two Splities

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Adam Lind is a guy who you will never know what you’re going to get year in and year out, until you’ve already got it… But I like him.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

So I was writing this, and then Lind got traded, I now feel like I'm cool because the Brew Crew and I are thinking along the same lines.  So lets look at the first obvious thing that just changed for Lind, where he plays.

Courtesy of ESPN's home run tracker

Would you look at that, Miller Park looks smaller than the Rogers Center right where you'd want it to be for a lefty power hitter: smaller power alleys, basically the same to center, and slightly deeper right down the line to left and right.  According to Fangraphs, Miller Park was the 5th best park to hit homers for lefties, the Rogers Center was 11th.  Then I found something very interesting that I didn't know about Lind.  He can hit a ball out everywhere.

Courtesy of Fangraphs

Those are Lind's home runs over the past two seasons.  Since he's only played 239 games, it's only 29 dots. But since Adam Lind is not only a home run hitter, I won't dwell on his lack of total power, and show that he's just been a good hitter for a while now.  Hitters who hit home runs to all fields are harder to pitch to because they have strength against pitches in all locations.  Lind having this in his arsenal, only helps his value, and shows he's a talented hitter, just as these numbers say:

Year

Tm

G

PA

AB

R

H

HR

RBI

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

OPS+

2013-2014

TOR

239

839

755

105

227

29

107

0.301

0.366

0.490

0.856

135

A .301/.366/.490 slash line is going to play at all times, regardless of position, and that is where my love for Lind was born.  He has hit so much for me in the past two years, it makes me forget about the seasons where he hit 230 and 250 for me...  So why has he been so inconsistent?  First of all, Lind has played through pain, he never played over 151 games, and the last few seasons games played have looked like this:

  • 2011-125
  • 2012- 93
  • 2013- 143
  • 2014-96

This has been a killer to his value on draft day in years past, but have no fear, good reasons to draft him are here.  Lind has become a better hitter than he was in years past. From 2010 to 2012 Lind posted BABIPs, line drive %'s, fly ball %'s, and batting averages of:

  • .277, 18.7%, 40.4%, .237
  • .265, 21.8%, 38.3%, .251
  • .282, 17.1%, 34.6%, .255

As far as I can tell, Lind's old problems at the plate had to do with not hitting the balls hard enough.  Over the past 2 years Lind has upped his line drives to around 21%, and lowered his fly balls to 32%.  He's been squaring up more balls, this likely has to do with a change in approach.  Lind now swings less than he used too, but a big chunk of that lowered swing percentage comes from him hacking at 37.1% of all balls thrown outside of the strike zone in 2011, to being around 30% over the past two years.  He actually still makes the same amount of contact, but obviously his contact has improved because it's easier to hit strikes than balls.

So when Lind became more selective he went from being a good strike hitter.

courtesy of Brooksbaseball.net

To an absolute strike killer.

So now you may be asking yourself, "Jack, but if he know hits the cover of the ball, why isn't he wanted, or even ranked by some sites? ESPN doesn't even have him as a top 250 player next year."

The elephant in the room are Lind's splits.  Adam Lind is the most splittinest split hitter in the fantasy world.  There is literally no point in having Lind face lefties.  Last year Lind struck out in 29.7% of his ABs verse lefties, and popped up 28.6%.  So over 50% of his ABs were completely wasted.  Not surprisingly he had a .061 avg versus lefties.

With the issues Lind has had, and the Brewers having a mashing Catcher who could use a few days over at 1B for rest, and a constantly ailing Braun who could use a few days at 1B to rest as well, it doesn't make sense for Lind to see more than maybe 30 ABs when a lefty reliever comes in to get him out. But lefties make up such a small chunk of ABs in a season, what Lind does against righties is obviously worthy of being noted.

Against righties, Lind only strikes out at a 13.2% clip, that's what Pablo Sandoval does over the whole season, that's good, and would have him in the top 30% of hitters in the MLB if he always hit like that.  With so many more balls in play his slash rate versus righties was .354/.409/.533 (.942 OPS).  Lind hit righties like Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout hit everyone.

Since I haven't been in the training room with Lind, I can't tell you for sure how healthy he is now, or how he'll feel on opening day 2015.  But considering he performed well in September/October, I think he's feeling ok, and a healthy offseason will only help put his back and foot injuries further behind him.

As far as next year, I don't think I'm going out on much of a limb, but I think he should definitely be drafted in all leagues 10 teams of deeper.  He can make a very nice cheap corner infielder or utility player.  Also if you end up drafting a 1B/OF player, Lind's splits can be easily exploited during the 4 out of 5 days he plays.  Now the days of Lind hitting 35 home runs are likely gone.  But considering his 7.6% HR/FB ratio can be attributed to injuries, and it was his lowest ever by a wide margin, I think the power will come back assuming he doesn't reinjure himself.  Next season if Lind hits below 280 and has less than 20HR I will be surprised.  So as stated earlier, I love when Adam Lind acts like Adam Lind, and that won't be changing in 2015.