Is It Time To Buy Adam Lind?
Adam Lind followed up a sublime 2011 campaign with one of the biggest flops of all time. After hitting 26 homers in 2011, he hit only 11 in 2012, and he only scored 28 runs while knocking in a measly 45. Injury clearly had something to do with it, as he only got 353 plate appearances in 2012. Regardless, Lind entered the 2013 fantasy baseball season with an ADP of the 44th first basemen off the board, per Fantasy Pros.
To date, Lind is 24th on ESPN’s Player Rater for first basemen, and is 10th over the last 30 days. Lind’s triple slash for the year is .335/.409/.527, all of which would be career bests except for a Lind’s .560 SLG% in 2009. Lind’s ratios are being driven by a couple tings. A career .229 hitter versus lefties, in 22 PA’s so far in 2013, Lind is hitting exactly .500. That certainly won’t continue, but a sharp raise in line drive rate and decrease in ground ball rate over the small sample size lead me to believe that there may be a slightly changed approach versus lefties.
Lind’s success against righties is pretty similar to what he has done when healthy his whole career. His career triple slash is .284/.339/.501 and his 2013 line is .310/.398/.490. The real difference is the on base, which is reflected so far by Lind’s plate discipline numbers. He is swinging at pitchers outside the zone at a career low rate (23.4% compared to 31.2%) and is straight whiffing on pitches less than ever before, with a 6.2 Swinging Strike %. Lind had never been one to take the free pass very often, as his career high in walks was 58. So far in 2013, he already has 23 walks, which backs up the plate discipline numbers.
Lind’s pace versus lefties is 100% going to slow down and he probably will regress a little to mean on walks. However, as multiple analysts have noted, Lind looks completely locked in at the plate and is seeing the ball perhaps the best of his entire career. If his owner in your AL-Only league thinks that this is a mirage, I’m totally fine with you buying him for 75 cents on the dollar. Lind’s ISO of .192 has nowhere to go but up to his career high .257 and you want to be along for that ride.