Why Adam Lind Should Be Considered A Solid Option In 2012

It was only a few years ago when Adam Lind exploded onto the scene by hitting .305 with 32 HR and 114 RBI. While he has had success each of the past two seasons, the numbers have paled in comparison to that impressive 2009 campaign.

All of the statistics have fallen, from the power (23 & 26 HR) to the RBI (72 & 87 RBI). However, considering he missed time in 2011 and was limited to just 499 AB, those two numbers are not overly concerning.

He showed good power last season, posting a 17.0% HR/FB rate. He also hit the ball with a lot of authority, with a 21.8% line drive rate. Both of those numbers are along the lines of what he did in 2009 (19.8% HR/FB, 20.2% LD%), telling us that they are not complete aberrations. With the Blue Jays lineup constantly improving, if he can stay healthy in 2012 there are reasons to believe that he can reach the 30 HR and 100 RBI plateaus once again.

So, he’s a slam dunk solid pick, right? It would be nice, but things are never that simple. Over the past two seasons Lind has posted averages of .237 and .251, respectively, calling into question his ability to be a useful first baseman or utility option.

One of the concerns has been his strikeout rate. Just look at the numbers over the past three years:

  • 2009 – 16.8%
  • 2010 – 23.5%
  • 2011 – 19.7%

There’s nothing consistent about those numbers, so which is the real Adam Lind? Over his minor league career he posted a 16.7% mark, so his 2009 mark does seem a little bit optimistic. At the same time, the 2010 mark seems to be a lot worse then we’d expect. In 2011 he came in right in the middle, and that would seem like a realistic mark. Figure he can post a strikeout rate right around 20%, which shouldn’t prohibit him from posting a solid average.

The other number to look at is his BABIP:

  • 2009 – .323
  • 2010 – .277
  • 2011 – .265

There was nothing unrealistic in his 2009 success. In fact, given the line drive rate his 2011 BABIP was extremely unlucky. You would have to think that he’s a lock to improve on last season’s .251 average at this point. Is he going to reach the .300 range? I wouldn’t bet on that, but expecting at least .270, with the potential for more, is extremely fair.

In other words, things look extremely promising for Lind heading into 2012. At the deepest position in fantasy baseball you shouldn’t need to draft him as a starter (though he would be a good selection for your corner infield spot), meaning he could bring great value on draft day.

What are your thoughts of Lind? Is he a player you like for 2012? Why or why not?

Make sure to check out all of our preliminary 2012 rankings:

5 comments

  1. TY says:

    not much to comment about Lind…. just a suggestion how about a Starlin Castro/JoSe Reyes comparison post?

  2. jmax says:

    As a huge blue jay fan (love the new uni’s) Im very familiar with Lind’s highs and lows. I’ve also drafted him two yrs in a row. Two good points you made were his health and the improving lineup. With guys like Encarnacion, Arencibia and Lawrie behind him with good upside his numbers should go up as long as he does maintain a .270 BA. Also, I’ll add one more idea. Lind learned a new position in 2011. He did play it in college but all we kept hearing about up here is he was constantly working on his defensive abilities. Now he’ll be settled in and ready for a big 2012. I’ll ignore the 1st base position and scoop him up late for the 3rd yr in a row. My buddies will make fun of me again but the third time will be a charm.

  3. jmax says:

    And the Reyes/Castro comparison is a meat and potatoes type of comparison which Im sure Mr. Roto is saving until spring traing. However, I’ll give you a brief one right now. I’m a huge Castro fan but does anyone compare to Reyes WHEN he’s healthy??? No!

    • TY says:

      I think castro is a poor mans reyes. And like you just said a “healthy” reyes. That’s always his downfall. I see reyes signing a monster deal and getting injured. Castro doesn’t have the speed of Reyes, but don’t be blinded by reyes hitting .337 last year, he’s a .290-.300 hitter. He’ll steal ya 50 but will only hit like 8 bombs…. starlin will give you a little more power, maybe even hit for a little higher avg, he K’s a ton, BUT he’s super young… room to grow. Personally reyes doesn’t exactly warrant a top 1st or 2nd round pick to me. I’d rather take castro a couple rounds later. Both talented players. Could be interesting to see how they do in 2012.

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    jmax, you got that one right on Reyes/Castro. It’s been added to the list and I will definitely take a close look at that comparison as the offseason progresses!

    Thanks for the suggestion and if there are any other comparisons you want to see definitely let me know!

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