Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lindependence Day!

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


  1. "drunk on a unicycle", i love it!

    Lind is awesome

  2. I usually say he runs like an energetic ten year old. But I love this kid. The silence at Fenway was fantastic, like "who the hell is this guy?"

  3. We're all guilty. I think, in part, it's because we don't want to jinx it, or we just don't believe what we are seeing.

    I'd always hoped Lind would settle into a solid #6 hitter, maybe #5 if the matchup was right. Never in my wildest dreams did I see this season coming.

    Dude is a legit middle of the order masher.

    And I wish the Snider bashers would have a look at Lind's first few MLB go-rounds before anointing him a failure. Ridiculous.

  4. A "true master", eh?

    How about this for Lind's official song:

    A true master, way beyond your freshman attempts

  5. Drew, that nerdistan link you posted is pretty cool stuff. I wonder why the location disparity exists. Is it because lefties have a lower arm slot(?) and righties throw relatively over the top? Or is it that lefties throw more off speed stuff that tails away?

    Cosentino asked Lind why he has such great opposite field power and Lind shrugged and said something about his swing path being conducive to it.

    Nerdy stuff aside, I think we both agree that opposite field HRs/doubles and defense are sexay! I'm looking forward to a decade of 70 HR a season from Tradam Snind. Can we just trade Hill for A-Gon to make the ideal all-field hitting trio of the 21st century?

  6. Nerdistan, Rosterbation...GoF needs its own lexicon.

  7. Great stuff, as always.

    Have been thinking about the Lind season, and one of the reasons why it snuck up on us is that he was pretty consistent all year long. His worst monthly OPS was a .786 in May.

    But look through his numbers across the board, and nothing sticks out as the hint that this season might all be luck or an aberration.

    And check out his monthly double totals: 8,8,8,9,9,4.

    A 3-4-5 of Lind, Hill and Snider over the next few years could be fun to watch.


    Get Halladay some support/backup in the #2 starter spot like Burnett was, if you plan to keep Roy...

    What do you think?

  9. Best title ever.

    I wonder where we see Lind next year though. Still platooning in LF and DH? Considering we have no idea what we have in Randy Ruiz (even in extremely limited play, a full-time DH/starter he is probably not), Snider is out of place in RF, and then we have all those farmhands who will not be called up, but I like to think they're competition, such as Coats and Dopriak, this team has a lot to sift through in the offseason. Lind has first choice no matter what, but I'm not sure if filling the DH position was a huge concern for the Jays given the amount of players present.


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