Where in the World is Adam Lind's Hitting Ability?

Pardon the cliche, but we are approaching a make or break season for Adam Lind. During the 2010-11 seasons Lind proved he does not deserve to bat fourth. One more sub .316 wOBA season, and Lind will prove to any rational person, that he shouldn’t even deserve any spot on the lineup card.

You know the story, solid prospect breaks out for a massive 2009 season, only to provide abhorrent hitting from the two positions with the least scarcity for the next two years. Hopefully you are not so blinded by the counting stats (49 HR/149 RBI between 10-11) to realize that Lind has been a black hole of baseball ability for two calender years (a whopping -0.3 WAR over that span).

I hate writing the phrase “make or break season.” It’s overused and generally just a throw away line. But, I’m going to use it here, because seriously, if Adam Lind can’t get it together I might just break my t.v watching the Jays broadcast this summer.

So lets go over all the facts, as I see them:

Image curtesy of wsau.com

Platoon player?

Lefty’s leave Lind’s licks loopy; the guy flat out cannot handle LHP. Period. If I were John Farrell, I’d be platooning Lind right off the hop in 2012.

2011 VS LHP

.243/.275/.364/ wOBA .280

Career:

.223/.266/.349/ wOBA .270

VS RHP

2011:

.253/.303/.468/ wOBA .328

Career:

.283/.334/.508/ wOBA .359

Do you want your clean up hitter against left handed starters sporting a career .270 wOBA?

Blame it on the BABIP-ohal:

No, batting average on balls in play isn’t synonymous with luck, especially for hitters. But there is something to be said for someone who has posted two seasons with BABIP significantlly lower than he career average. So I’m going to say it: chances are Lind’s BABIP will be north of the .265 mark he put up in 2011 and that should help his production a bit. BABIP regression however, will not cure what ails Lind.

2011: .265

2010: .277

2009: .323

Career: .295

Lay off the slider:

Lind struggles against breaking balls, especially sliders from left handers. This is why he faced breaking pitches 34% of the time against LHP (23% sliders) and 25% overall (sliders 14.2%). He’s got to find a way to lay off breaking pitches on the outside of the pate.

Against LHP

Strike: 64.7%

Swing: 51.6%

Whiffed on 22.4%

Against everyone:

Strike: 68.5%

Swing: 56.9%

Whiff: 16.2%

Spray Charts:

Lind was an opposite field hitting machine in 2009. Unfortunately for the Jays, the other-way power dried up during the 2010-11 seasons. That power has still got to be in there somewhere, doesn’t it?

 

2009 season vs everyone

Graphic from Texas Leaguers.com

 

Just take a minute and reminisce about all of those left field bombs Lind hit back in 2009. It was a beautiful thing.

 

2011 vs everyone

 

Injury?

Wishful thinking is a powerful thing, and it explains why many Jays fans blame Linds horrible second half in 2011 on injury(s). Is it possible that Lind’s production was hindered by a physical ailment? Yes, but it’s an awfully weak excuse. The guy was clearly healthy enough to be playing for one, and it also doesn’t explain his dreadful performance in 2010.

Projections:

You may recall Bill James offense happy projection for Lind’s 2012 production.

PA 599/.268/.322/.474/ wOBA .341/ 27 HR / 96 RBI

This would be a pretty solid year, not fantastic, but certainly a big step up from 2010-11. Curiously, the projection is almost exactly the mid point between Lind’s great 09 and terrible 2011 season.

Show me the money:

Thanks to cot’s baseball contracts, I am able to list the details of Lind’s salary. As you can see, Lind has a minimum of $12 million dollars left on his deal and as much as $32.5 million headed his way. Thank god for AA’s ability to tack on club options.

2012: $5 million

2013: $5 million

2014: $7 million club option ($2 million buyout)

2015: $7.5 million club option ($1.5 million buyout)

2016: $8 million club option ($500,000 buyout)

 ***

So you can probably tell that I am pessimistic about Lind’s ability to turn it around this season. What can I say, he’s just been that bad for roughly 1150 PA’s. What do you think?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

-SB

Like what you read and want to stay informed on all updates here at Jays Journal? Follow us on Twitter (@JaysJournal), “Like” our Facebook page, or grab our RSS feed!

Tags: Adam Lind Toronto Blue Jays

comments powered by Disqus