Last week there was a comment request to do a Clone Wars on Adam Lind and Andre Ethier. I had recently reviewed Ethier when comparing him to Raul Ibanez, so I substituted Kendry Morales, another .300 average, 30 home run, 100 RBI player.
R HR RBI SB AVG BB% K% HR/F% BABIP Adam Lind 80 28 97 1 0.301 8.80% 19.40% 16.50% 0.330 Kendry Morales 73 30 98 1 0.307 7.10% 19.60% 18.20% 0.332
When 2009 began it looked like Lind was going to be spending much of his time at DH and might soon lose his outfield eligibility. This would be a bit of a loss for his value, but with Travis Snider‘s early struggles, the left field spot opened up and he has already gotten into 54 games at left field. He’ll at least hold on to outfield eligibility for another year, but his defense out there won’t keep him there long. His UZR/150 currently stands at -14.8, though Snider hasn’t shown much defensively either, with a UZR/150 of -12.7 in 51 games (small sample size caveats apply, of course).
His BABIP this year is .330, which is higher than his career rate of .319. However, this is his first year with real playing time, he has increased his line drive rate from 18 percent to 20.6 percent. He also has had a large spike in his power. All signs indicate that he should have a high BABIP so far this year, but could regress in the future.
Looking at his HitTracker data it looks like Lind’s power is for real. He has only five “just enough” homers, which better than average. This suggests his power is still growing and 2010 could be another big year for Lind. His home run scatterplot also demonstrates his ability to hit for power to all fields on
|Adam Lind Scatter Plot|
One other thing to note is that his splits show he still is much stronger against right-handed pitchers. His batting average is respectable against both, but against lefties his walks and power drop. It isn’t a big enough split that he shouldn’t start full time, but on his career his OPS does drop from .855 against right handers to .722 against lefties.
|MLB: JUN 21 Blue Jays at Nationals
21 June 2009: Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Adam Lind (26) in action against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Washington Nationals 9-4 in interleague play. (Icon/SMI)
Lind is looking to enter 2010 as a top 10 outfielder, but even if the power is for real there are some possible regressions in average. He also looks like someone headed to a DH spot more often and could eventually lose is outfield eligibility.
In 2008, Morales struggled and was behind Casey Kotchman and Mark Teixeira on the depth chart. The Angels tried to re-sign Teixeira for 2009, but so far Morales’ production means that the Angels haven’t lost much. Morales has posted a .381 wOBA Morales to date, compared to Teixeira’s .392. Unfortunately his walk rate is closer to Lind’s than Teixeira’s by a good margin.
This season, Morales also has a raised BABIP above his career rate, but unlike Lind his line drive rate has decreased this year. His power numbers are obviously up, but he does have a higher number of “just enough” homers. He has 10 “just enough” homers, which is 33 percent of his total homers. That is above the league average and a possible sign that he will regress next year.
As a switch hitter he has also been much better against righty pitchers with a .871 OPS and dropping to .721 against lefties. Both have risen this year at .971 versus righties and .778 versus lefties. Much like Lind he has trouble getting walks against lefties, but also not so bad he needs to be platooned.
Here are a couple guys who should finish with 30 homers, 100 RBIs and a batting average around .300. These two are extremely similar even when you look at their peripherals, but there are a few numbers that make Lind look like the better offensively of the two. His power numbers and line drive rate are better. Lind’s eligibility in the outfield also makes him a better choice. Eleven first basemen have 30 homers and Miguel Cabrera is at 29 right now. Only five outfielders are at 30 or more with four others including Lind at or above 27. Lind should be the better value, but both will still be good players in 2010.