Adam Lind’s return to relevance
Adam Lind’s fall from fantasy greatness was as swift as his rise to glory in 2009 when he hit .305 with 35 HR and 114 RBI playing first base for the Blue Jays. His follow up act was more than a minor disappointment as he went from a wRC+ of 140 to just 89 in 2010. He still managed a .188 ISO and was held back by some bad luck with just a .277 BABIP compared to .323 the prior season, so there was hope that he would rebound in 2011. However, the following two seasons just seemed to confirm that Lind’s 2009 was a flash in the pan.
The Blue Jays have stuck with Lind through it all though, and this year their investment is finally paying off. Adam Lind is currently hitting .323/.410/.526 while walking at a whopping rate of 13.5% compared to a minimal 16% strikeout rate. His ISO is a healthy .203 and the only red flag right now is his .362 BABIP. He has a solid 20% line drive rate, but that won’t be high enough to sustain his average on balls in play. Even with that said, this is still a completely revitalized Adam Lind who looks worthy of joining any team’s starting lineup.
Back in 2009 Lind had a nice walk rate of 8.9% and a K-rate of 16.9%, so this year’s numbers look to be a natural improvement of his batting eye. According to Fan Graphs Plate Discipline numbers, in 2009 Lind had a Swinging Strike rate of 7.2%, this rate increased to 10.7% in both 2010 and 2011 as it appeared Lind began pressing at the plate after the great success he had in ’09. Last year that rate was lowered to 6.9% and this year it is all the way down to 6.1%. Overall Lind is swinging at far fewer pitches, with a swing rate of 37.7% compared to 50% in 2009 and 2010. Predictably he is swinging at less pitches out of the zone at 24.2%, the lowest rate of his career and just lower than his fantastic 2009 season (24.7%).
Lind has significantly improved his approach at the plate, waiting for his pitch and hitting it hard when he gets it. He has 1B eligibility but is primarily a DH, so he does have his limitations. However, he should be a solid source of offensive production for the rest of the season and should fit in very nicely if your team is weak at Corner Infield.