There is some concern over Adam Lind and his ability to replicate his 2009 success. It’s justified, considering he had seen time in the Major Leagues from 2006 on, compiling 22 HR in 676 AB. He also had not shown the potential to hit for an excellent average (.238 in ’07, .282 in ’08). The idea of him being a middle of the order impact bat was almost laughable.
That all changed when he posted the following line in his first full Major League season:
587 At Bats
.305 Batting Average (179 Hits)
35 Home Runs
1 Stolen Bases
.370 On Base Percentage
.562 Slugging Percentage
.323 Batting Average on Balls in Play
Let’s start with the average, which is a very realistic number. First of all, the BABIP placed him outside the Top 50 last season, so that certainly is repeatable.
He also does a good job of making contact for a power hitter, with a strikeout rate of 18.7%. That number was identical to his career minor league mark (1,581 at bats), so why would we think that he is suddenly going to start swinging in missing more often? Could he get to around 20% (where is actually where I am projecting him at)? Yes, but I wouldn’t expect anything more than that considering he has proven he could do it in the Major Leagues.
What could hurt his average most is the potential for a decline in the power department. Fewer home runs mean more balls in play. Even if he maintains the BABIP, the average is going to fall slightly. It’s hard for me to imagine him repeating the 35 HR power he displayed in ’09, so this needs to be taken into account.
The HR/FB is the big indication for him, having sat at 19.8%. Is it possible he maintains it? Yeah, it could happen, but it’s not likely to happen in my opinion. That mark placed him thirteenth in the league, so a regression could easily be in store.
Let’s couple this with his flyball percentage, which is far from elite. He was at 36.8% last season, placing him outside the Top 80. While he could add more power at his age (26-years old) and start putting the ball into the air more, he hasn’t shown that potential in the past. Over his minor league career he posted a flyball rate of 39.0%. At Triple-A, it was even lower:
- 2006 – 39.4% (109 AB)
- 2007 – 30.1% (174 AB)
- 2008 – 33.5% (189 AB)
Those are all small samples, but when you put it all together it’s enough to base a conclusion on. Chances are, the flyballs aren’t going anywhere, which means I am expecting a small step backwards in the power department.
What about the RBI and Runs? Less home runs is obviously going to have an effect there as well, though could we really expect a repeat of a 114 RBI season from him? That’s not to say that he’s not going to be great, I just don’t see him repeating that type of elite number.
We put it all together and get the following 2010 projection:
.290 (174-600), 28 HR, 100 RBI, 85 R, 2 SB, .323 BABIP, .350 OBP, .510 SLG
I’m basically expecting very similar production, the decline across the board simply comes from a fall in home runs. If he proves me wrong and is able to replicate the power, then the other numbers would rise with it.
Even with this slight fall, I am still projecting him out to be the tenth best outfielder in 2010. Don’t think I’m down on him in the least.
What about you? Do you think he can duplicate his 2009 success? If not, how far do you see him falling?
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For some 2010 projections, click here. Among those we’ve already covered include: