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The Season That Was: Adam Lind

In 2009, Adam Lind had his first full season in the majors and it was a great one: 35 and 114 RBI, a Silver Slugger award and some MVP votes. Going into this season expectations were pretty high. Bill James figured him to have a .305/.364/.542 line with 31 HR. Chone.293/.350/.502 with 24 HR.

Most of our preseason predictions were even more optimistic. It didn't work out:

2010 - Adam Lind 150 569 57 135 32 3 23 72 38 144 0 0 .237 .287 .425

Fangraphs had him at a WAR of -0.3, not really what you want to see out of your DH.

He didn't hit lefties at all (.117/.159/.182), but he was pretty reasonable against right-handers (.275/.327/.502). If he continues like that, he really should be platooned, but in 2009 he wasn't near as bad against LHP.

He hit much better at home (.268/.307/.489) than on the road (.205/.266/.371).

Unlike 2009 he hit better as a DH (.245/.302/.433) than he did when playing the field (.194/.208/.351) though he had very few games playing in the field so it is a pretty small sample. 

It won't surprise you, but comparing to 2009 he walked less (6.2% in 2010, 8.9% in 2009) and struck out more (25.3% to 18.7%). He hit fewer line drives (18.7% to 20.2%), hit more fly balls (40.4% to 36.85) but had far fewer infield flies (4.6% to 8.5%). Obviously less of his fly balls went for home runs (13.3% to 19.8%). His BABIP dropped quite a bit too (.277 in 2010, .323 in 2009).

His longest hitting streak was 14 games. His longest streak without a hit was 4 games

By month he hit:

April: .286/.369/484

May: .174/.220/.312

June: .156/.216/.233

July: .275/.327/.505

August: .278/.320/.536

September: .264/.287/.495

So if you want to split it into halves, he was awful in the first half (.214/.271/.370, OPS+74) and ok in the second half (.267/.309/.498, OPS+121).

With RISP he hit .240/.301/.364. He didn't hit any better with the bases empty, .231/.267/.426.

His favorite team to play was the Angels, .344/.405/.719 with 3 HR in 9 games. Least favorite? Well he had 3 awful games against the Phillies, .000/.083/.000 (I was at those games, but don't blame me, blame Carm). Among the AL teams, he had a tough time with the A's, .138/.167/.207 in 7 games. 

He didn't play enough in the field to prove anything. He had 76 innings at first and didn't have an error. I thought he looked alright there but then some said he looked terrible. When it is such a few innings, I think people see what they want to see. I doubt there are a lot of Gold Gloves in his future but he makes a nice big target. In the outfield he was like he always has been. It the ball is hit at him, he catches it (no errors) but if he has to move to the ball, that's a problem. 

What went wrong this year? My little theory is that Cito and Dwayne Murphy were preaching 'pull, pull, pull'. It worked well with a lot of players, Bautista, Wells, Buck, Gonzalez. But I think Lind hits better using the whole field. He has enough power to hit the ball out the opposite way or line doubles the other way. It has the added bonus of keeping the other team's defense and pitching honest. 

Will things get better next year? I can't see why not. He was better in the second half of this year and he has that perfect swing. I can't imagine him having troubles for long. The other question is will he be playing first next year? The idea of a 26 year old being a full time DH just doesn't work for me. He's got a long term contract (including team options he is signed through 2016), I think it would be good to give him a position.