Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Admiring Adam LindPosted by Paul Singman at 1:18am
As of yesterday, Adam Lind's 2009 season numbers look like this: .302 average, 90 runs, 32 home runs, 109 RBI, and one lonely stolen base. Lind has reached some remarkable totals this season, all the more impressive as this was his first full season in the majors.
Any player would say he's had a great season if he reaches the following plateaus: 30 home runs, 100 RBI and a .300-plus batting average. Right now only six players in the major leagues meet all three criteria and they are:
+----------------+----+-----+-------+ | Name | HR | RBI | AVG | +----------------+----+-----+-------+ | Miguel Cabrera | 32 | 100 | 0.331 | | Albert Pujols | 47 | 129 | 0.329 | | Ryan Braun | 30 | 106 | 0.314 | | Derrek Lee | 35 | 109 | 0.306 | | Kendry Morales | 33 | 104 | 0.304 | | Adam Lind | 32 | 109 | 0.302 | +----------------+----+-----+-------+
That is an intimidating grouping of players, all big-name hitters except for Lind and Morales. Cabrera, Pujols, Braun, and Lee combine to have 16 All-Star appearances, two MVP awards, and two ROY trophies amongst them. At this stage in Lind's career he has none of those things, but that may change in the future.
Generally I'm a pretty humble guy but after re-reading my predictions of Lind at the beginning of the season, I am compelled to share their preciseness in hindsight. Here was my estimation of his power ability:
...we can expect Lind to hit outfield flyballs (OF FB%) at about a 30 percent rate, and have about 18 percent of those flyballs go for home runs. Over a season's worth of at-bats, hitting at those ratios Lind would knock about 30 home runs.
Spot on with the home runs, he is currently at 32 dingers. And here's what I said about his batting average potential:
Overall Lind does not have the best plate discipline but with his tendencies to hit lots of grounders and line drives, and fly balls that go over the fence, Lind is able to keep his BABIP relatively high, inflating his batting average. An average in the high .280s seems reasonable given his skill set, although he has the potential to push a .300 average.
I said Lind could push a .300 average and impressively he has done exactly that, currently sitting at .302. OK, enough bragging on my part. Either you owned Lind this season and enjoyed his production or you did not. That cannot be changed, so what matters is what will happen in the future.
It is hard to say this early where Lind will fall in 2010 drafts, but my prediction is he will be selected in rounds 5-7 in most standard, 12-team league drafts—in between where Curtis Granderson and Bobby Abreu were taken last year for some perspective.
Looking at Eriq Gardner's ridiculously premature mock 2010 draft back in August, we see Lind was taken with the 69th overall pick, which in a 12-team league would equate to an early sixth-round selection so that agrees with my initial feeling.
Whether Lind will justify that selection remains to be seen, though entering his age 26-27 season in 2010 there is little reason for pessimism. Simply put, Lind offers a power, batting average, and RBI combination that is boasted only by the elite hitters in baseball. Although it is too early to tell, I would not be surprised if Adam Lind found his way onto my fantasy teams next year, again.
Paul has been managing fantasy baseball teams for many seasons and writing for THT Fantasy over the past three years. He is currently a student at UPenn welcomes readers' thoughts at his email here or in the comments below.