Q. Does SSI like Adam Lind more, or less, than does the general consensus?
A. It likes him more. The 'Adam Bomb' batted cleanup for the Brew, but even so, this guy is underrated by fans and by sabes. Not by GM's any more, apparently.
Lind's RC/27 the last three years, as he aged from 29 to 31, were 5.9, 6.8, and 6.2. This means that a lineup full of Adam Linds would have scored you 6.3 runs per game. That is FAR more than Kyle Seager's BEST year of 5.3 runs per game and those figures include Lind's AB's vs left hand pitchers!
You get into the 6+ runs territory, a hitter of Lind's archetype ... them's the Big Leagues. Adam Lind doesn't "lengthen" our lineup; he becomes our fourth legitimate hitting star.
Q. One year rental, though? Should the M's extend him real quick?
A. Well, piling on unnecessarily, you've got offense in the majors sinking like a rock even as Adam Lind rises. 6-7 runs per game? For 2016 I'll take that over Upton or Heyward. For 2016, we sez.
Let 2017 worry about itself. You can deal three teenagers for another rental next year when it arrives. DiPoto does not seem averse to graduating seniors and providing for underclassmen on a continual basis. I'm perfectly glad to just use Lind for this year and then find the next Lind along -- if Montero, D.J. or somebody else does not become that in the meantime.
Q. Why was he available on the cheap just 12 months ago?
A. The knock on Lind was fourfold:
- He's up-and-down, or it seemed like he was. Get a load of this Fangraphs article.
- He's got a bad back.
- He had a bit of a rep as a clubhouse problem. At least with the Jays, but it seems an Ozuna-style bum rap.
- In 2014 he was hurt a lot, his rate numbers were nil, and this made him an 'unsexy' add. Think Corey Hart when the M's took a flier on him.
But Adam Lind has classic "old player's skills" in the best sense of the syndrome. His EYE ratio has gone up and up and up, from an amateurish, shrill 38:144 (?!) at age 26 to a masterly 66:100 last year. As the guy turned the corner towards and around age 30, he put it all together.
That's Dr. D's take on Adam Lind, and it's why I'm more bullish on him than most. The GM conglomerate agrees with this exact interpretation; after 2014 they were skeptical, but 2015 settled the matter. Word is that more than 20 teams were in on Lind this time around. It's because he proved himself over a 3-year scan. We now know who Lind is.
Q. What's the deal on LH-vs-LH? Will the M's have the guts to platoon him?
A. Bill James, based on full knowledge of 15,000 baseball players, is skeptical that platoon stats are ever anything more than an illusion. (He means that there is a normal platoon difference, and when players differ from that, they should be predicted to return.)
All respect for James, if there was ever a platoon hitter, Lind has got to be it. The EYE ratio doesn't lie. Over this wonderful 2013-15 time period, as Lind displayed his skills as a mature cleanup hitter:
- 131:184 (0.71) vs RHP
- 16:67 (0.24) vs LHP
As you know, the slash lines are even a lot worse than that. No, he's a guy you want to pinch-hit for late when the LOOGY comes in.
The M's certainly were strict about Seth Smith's exposure to lefties. Last year Smith had 399 PA's vs right and a mere 53 vs lefties. Of course, that's under a different manager and GM. But compare Lind's 460 vs 112 last year in Milwaukee. He only lost about a third his AB's vs lefties. Here's hoping that 2016 will see a loss of two-thirds.
Q. How can you pinch-hit routinely for your 1B?
A. Puts a whale of a lot of pressure on a 4-man bench, doesn't it? With the rumors about Mike Napoli persisting, we may be treated to a 5-man bench and 3 if not 4 consistent platoons. Now the multi-inning RP's like Bass and Scribner start to make sense, neh? :- ) Earl Weaver redux!
Q. What are we looking at with 1B if they DO platoon him?
A. Looks like you could pencil in a 130-150 OPS+. Get Napoli in here, or get an UP year from Jesus Montero, and at 1B you have replaced a failed Logan Morrison with the equivalent of a Jose Abreu or Josh Donaldson.
Platoon Adam Lind ... am not saying they WILL, but ... then --- > the only hitters better than that are the Goldschmidts and Bautistas of the game. It's the next strata down from that; take away Trout, Harper and Cabrera as freaks, list the 10-15 guys who are next and then you come to the Lind-Platooned group. Bona fide cleanup hitter production.
Q. Can we go back to calling him JeDi?
A. Comin' raht up. As y'know, we live to serve. Don't assume too much, though :- )
Photo: Keith Allison, flickr