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: