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Player Profile: Adam Lind

The art of being ok at a deep positionPlayer Profile: Adam Lind

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past 3 years Adam Lind has been a 287/351/467 hitter making giving him an .818 OPS over that timeframe.  However he's only averaged 111 games played over the past 3 years with various aliments.

So should we trust Adam Lind or not?  In my mind, any player who can get hits and is available late, is someone who is on my radar, and Lind qualifies.

Players who strike out under 20% of their PAs generally have my attention, and over the past 3 years Lind has had K% of 17.3, 19.8, and 15.1.  Also, while pitchers with historically high K-BB% are loved, hitters who inversely have low K-BB% aren't noticed, but quietly produce.  Adam Lind is that player.  But there is one glaring problem with Adam Lind, lefty/righty splits.

Split

PA

AB

HR

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

vs RHP

281

257

6

37

0.354

0.409

0.533

0.942

vs LHP

37

33

0

11

0.061

0.162

0.061

0.223

So last season Adam Lind was a hall of fame caliber hitter against righties, and a Low-A nightmare against lefties.  However, there is more to this story than what meets the eye.  Lind's value on draft day won't be high because lets face it, he gets hurt, and plays through pain.  Here are his games played over the past few seasons.

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

It's a mixed bag, and I'm not going to predict how many games he'll play, but I will say this, unless he starts the season hurt, you want Lind to be starting on your squad.

Over the past two seasons Adam Lind has been cranking the ball.  The problem is he hasn't exactly been an ironman, making his counting stats limited in that time.

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

0.49

0.856

135

A .301/.366/.490 line is going to play at any position, on any team.  That's the kind of hitting that will make you forget about those 250 and 230 seasons he had not so long ago.  But the big question is why is he hitting so well now?

Frankly, Lind has been a better hitter lately.  Here are his Babips, line drive percentages, fly ball percentages, and Batting Averages from 2010-2012.

Babip

LD%

FB%

BA

2010

0.277

18.7

40.4

0.237

2011

0.265

21.8

38.3

0.251

2012

0.282

17.1

34.6

0.255

Those old numbers were ugly, and while a lot of writers recommend hitters hitting more balls in the air for more home runs, a large chunk of flyballs by most hitters are just weak contact.  Over the past two seasons Lind's LD% has hovered around 21% and simultaneously lowered his fly balls to around 32%.  This has been a result of an approach change.  He's been squaring up more balls.  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 about the same amount of contact, but obviously his contact has improved because it's easier to hit strikes than balls.

So in the old days, he was a good strike hitter

To a strike murder

So why does the Faketeams staff not have him as a top 15 1B?  The first reason likely is that Lind has splits that make ballerinas and Roger Clemens jealous.  Obviously as shown before, he can't hit lefties in any way, shape or form.  He strikes out 29.7% of ABs against them, and also popped up 28.6% of the time against them.  With a little bit of math you can see that over 58% of his at bats resulted in the two worst outcomes you can have as a hitter.  This shows that clearly, Lind is primed to be platooned with, and when a team has a stud hitting catcher, and a former superstar left fielder who could both use some easier days at 1B while still playing the bat.  Lind does not deserve to be getting more than 30 ABs against lefties next season.

Luckily he'll have far more opportunities against righties, and against those righties, he makes magic happen.  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 rates versus righties was .354/.409/.533 (.942 OPS).  Lind hit righties like Stanton and Trout hit everyone last year, soak that in.

Another big issue is that Lind is coming off a year where he played only 96 games.  I can't personally tell you what he's doing with the trainers in Milwaukee, or was doing with the trainers in Toronto.  But I have played a lot of competitive baseball, I have been hurt, and I have been helped by trainers.  I can't even begin to tell you how much better you can start feeling after an extended time with these educated folks, and I can't imagine I was anywhere close to seeing what Lind has at his fingertips.  With that said, he may get hurt again, but if I was to take a guess, I'd assume he's going into 2015 healthy.

Lastly, I have shown you that Lind has a good approach regarding strikeouts and walks when dealing with righties.  But he also does a nice job of not being a shiftable player in the infield or outfield.  The easiest way for me to show you this is would be his home run locations over the last two years.  Then you should consider that Lind is moving from Toronto to Milwaukee.  According to Fangraphs, Miller Park was the 5th best park to hit homers for lefties, the Rogers Center was 11th.  This should only help Lind continue to hit homers in every direction next season.

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 in conclusion, I love Adam Lind, and I think you should too.