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.