Thursday, October 1, 2009
Let me make two quick apologies: firstly to you the dear reader for subjecting you to such a cheesy and predictable title and submitting this post a day late. I know one day is forever in internet time but I hope you'll bare with me. And secondly to Adam Lind, whom I've shamefully ignored this season.
There is no good excuse for the lack of credit given to Adam Lind, both here and the greater Blue Jays universe. I haven't used the "Adam Lind" tag since APRIL, for crying out loud. During the offseason Lind was a forgotten man after a quiet ending to 2008 and the emergence of Travis Snider, who took up all the hope space in my thoughthole.
Last year, as Lind wiled away in Syracuse, we at Ghostrunner on First dubbed him the OPS EXPRESS. We waited with baited breath for him to arrive on the scene and save the day. And that he did, until he slumped through the second half. We weren't alone in expressing some skepticism over Lind's credentials.
The numbers in 2009 speak for themselves, his .932 OPS and .394 wOBA are impressive in ways I'm not quiet comfortable with. That he's gone unmentioned around here says a lot about the way I think about baseball and players and I don't think I'm alone. We take the here and now for granted while coveting the youth and future, hoping they're the answer to all our prayers. Adam Lind as been that and MORE, a fuck load more. He exceeded any and all projections in 2009 while continuing to provide hope for the future.
Where does that hope come from? This. Adam Lind's Hit Tracker profile. Lind uses all fields with power. He takes what you throw him and mashes it at will. Let's take a look at the pitches he saw Tuesday and what he did with them.
In the first inning he waits on a curveball and drives it to deep center. Next he rides a 94 mph fastball out to center again. Finally he spins on a slider inside, yanking it down the line for cheapy. (Video of all three here.) Pure hitting mastery. What a pro. If I had code-crunching skills I'd do a graph like those found at the bottom of this amazing post, but I have no such R skills and the only guy who could probably help me is having computer meltdown challenges. So my breathless praise will have to do.
Update: I'm asleep at wheel it would seem. Dave Allen created the very graph I longed for today at Fangraphs. Check it out here. Plate coverage like a motherfucker.
Displays like this will keep my faith in Adam Lind. He won't hit 35+ every year but he is a true master at the plate. Sure, he runs like a 8 year at recess and plays the field like a drunk on a unicycle, but he can hit like no other. Well some others, but nobody we've seen around here since Carlos Delgado. The power to all fields, the quick bat. Yum. I promise I won't overlook you ever again Mr. Lind.
Thanks to the usual victims of my theft Daylife, Brooks Baseball, Fangraphs, and Hit Tracker Online