Buy ‘Em Or Deny ‘Em: Should Fantasy Owners Roll The Dice On Adam Lind?

It is not my nature to look and contradict the other writers here on Rotoprofessor.  Everyone has their own opinion, their own value, and that is what makes playing fantasy baseball so interesting.  You may love a player that I have no interest in using.

So, when Will wrote his waiver wire article last week saying that he would avoid Adam Lind, I felt like I had to respond.  I know that he’s been hot in recent days (at least hotter than he had been), but Will’s article actually came about a day after I had acquired Lind in a trade for Dayan Viciedo.  Clearly, Lind is a player that I believe in.

I know people want to point to his four months of struggles, dating back to last year’s All-Star Break, but if you do that you are simply overlooking some of the numbers in front of you.  To use an old adage, you can’t the forest through the trees.

Fact: Adam Lind has struggled this season, hitting .235 with 1 HR and 7 RBI through Saturday.

I am not about to dispute that.  He hasn’t been good thus far this season, but that doesn’t mean that there is no hope for him to turn things around and provide fantasy owners over the next few weeks and months.

In fact, if you look at his underlying statistics there are actually numerous reasons for optimism.

Stat 1 – Lind is showing an improved eye at the plate

Maybe he will regress in this regard, but thus far this season he is posting a career best 13.0% strikeout rate and 11.7% walk rate.  Can we really say that someone with that type of plate discipline is a .235 hitter?  Sure, you can say that his .263 BABIP has become the norm for him, but it doesn’t really jive with what he’s actually showing at the plate.

Seeing Lind’s average improve should almost be expected.

Stat 2 – Lind is currently posting a career low HR/FB

He also has one of his worst fly ball rates of his career (31.0%), another number that you would assume would improve.  However, the more startling number is his 5.6% HR/FB.  Just look at the numbers from the previous five years:

  • 2007 – 13.3%
  • 2008 – 11.0%
  • 2009 – 19.8%
  • 2010 – 13.3%
  • 2011 – 17.0%

Does anyone really expect him not to hit for more power as the season progresses?  That should almost be considered a foregone conclusion, and also helps support the notion of an improved average.

Stat 3 – He’s hitting the ball with authority

He thus far has also posted a career best line drive rate of 22.4%.  Obviously you would like to see fewer groundballs (46.6%), but the line drive rate is promising.

There obviously are concerns with Lind, but there also are reasons for optimism.  For now he remains in the middle of the Toronto lineup, which also gives him opportunity.

Slow start or not, I am more than willing to roll the dice on him at this point.

9 comments

  1. Frank Kim says:

    Adam Lind also hit .197 in the 2nd half of 2011 w/ a brutal .589 OPS. He can’t hit lefties and is basically in a platoon now. I think soon he will be dropped in the lineup considering how well Encarnacion, Lawrie and Rasmus are hitting.

    • jmax says:

      He’s not basically in a platoon. I believe he was benched one game recently against a lefty. However when he has been in the lineup against a lefty he has been dropper a few spots. But how greatly will a few spots affect him in that lineup? Rasmus hitting well?!?! As a J’s fan, I wish. Since the game where he went yard twice he’s 4 for 28 and he doesn’t hit lefties well either

  2. Bob says:

    Fact-his back is a train wreck

  3. Tuco says:

    Lind’s 2nd half struggles last year could be attributed to his back injury that occurred around the All-Star break.

  4. Doctor Gonzo says:

    So, bottom line, what’s the verdict? All arguements are sound except; “I think soon he will be dropped in the lineup considering how well Encarnacion, Lawrie and Rasmus are hitting.”

    Lind is a better hitter then all of them…for now. Lawrie is the only one I see trumping Lind in offensive potential. Rasmus is a never was and Encarnacion is a pissy man who has more valleys then peaks in his career. I own Lind, he is on my bench, behind LaHair (also on the bench) but I am trying to figure out if he is worthy trade bait or if I should let him marinate on the bench until that back fully heals.

    I seriously believe that when it does, look out.

    Thoughts?

    -The Doctor

    • jmax says:

      I wouldn’t be that short on Encarnacion. He’s always shown promise and had a strong finish last yr. He’s made tweaks to his swing. Tweaks that non-hitting coaches like you and me can see. He hits lefties well and is in his prime.

  5. Doctor Gonzo says:

    Sorry JMax, but I refuse to let myself buy into Encarnacion. His stance is most certainly different, but through out hsi career he has shown his inability to give a shit. he has always struck me as one of those indifferent types. The job was basically handed to him and the poor bastard handed it back, multiple times.

    Guys like that don’t get my supoort, be it fantasy or real life. I could be wrong, but he has done this before and I believe the bottom will fall out sooner rather then later.

    But none of this answers my questions on Lind.

    I also wnated everyone to know, I not only drafted Liriano, but Hughes and Ubaldo as well. All three have shat the bed. I sit in first by 13 points, and if any of you are worth your weight in fantasy salt, you know how quickly those points can be shed in a roti league. My offense is fantastic but I need a pitcher, a winning pitcher, in the worst way possible.

    Just wanted to share.

    - Doc

    • jmax says:

      ummmhmmmmm…..Two guys come to mind who made a swing change in recent history. Granderson and Bautista. How’d that work?

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