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Top 60 All-Time Greatest Jays: #57 Adam Lind

Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays
That beard was awful.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Adam Alan Lind | 1B, DH, LF | 2006-2014

Adam Lind was born in Muncie, Indiana (the player born in Indiana with the highest bWAR is Scott Rolen, Lind is 51st on the list) on July 17th, 1983. He was drafted by the Twins in the 8th round of the 2002 draft, out of high school, but he choose to go to the University of South Alabama instead. The Blue Jays used their 3rd round pick in 2004 on him.

I had a fair bit of affection for Lind. When I first found BBB, Adam was a top prospect. I remember the arguments about whether he would be a ‘40-home run’ guy or not. As it turned out, not, but those are few and far between.

His first couple of seasons in our system went well. He hit .312/.371/.477 in low A Auburn in 2004 and then .313/.375/.487 in high A Dunedin in 2005.

Adam had a very good 2006, hitting .310/.357/.543 in New Hampshire (winning the Eastern League MVP), followed by a move up to Triple-A Syracuse, where he hit .394/.496/.596 in 34 games. That earned him a September callup in 2006. He hit .367/.415/.600 with 2 home runs in 18 games in his first look at the majors.

The 2007 season started with Lind in the minors, but he got a call up on April 13th to fill in for injured Reed Johnson. He stayed with the Jays into early July, but a .230/.274/383 batting line wasn’t enough for the team to want to keep him when Reed returned from the DL. Again, he was a September callup. This time he wasn’t as successful, hitting .273/.298/.473 in 16 September games.

In 2008, again, he started the season in the minors, but when the team suddenly parted ways with Frank Thomas, and Shannon Stewart proved that putting on a Jays jersey wasn’t going to make him young again, Lind got the call-up. A 1 for 19 start and an impatient John Gibbons (fairness to Gibby, he knew if the team didn’t win, he was going to be fired) got Adam sent to the minors again, and the Jays inflicted the two-headed Mencherson monster on us in his place.

Gibby was fired, mid-season and Cito Gaston was hired for his second stint as our manager. The best thing that Cito did, after taking the job, was to insist that Lind come back up and that he would play left field. When Cito believed in a player, they seemed to play better. Adam hit .295/.327/.466 with 9 home runs in 82 games under Cito. The worrisome part was that Lind’s last home run came on August 19th.

Cito seemed to make Lind a project. He had him playing every day, and Lind would often be sitting near him on the bench. I wish that Cito would have put in the same time with Travis Snider, but we’ll take what we can get.

2009 was Lind’s best with the Blue Jays. He hit .305/.370/.562 with 35 home runs and 114 RBI. We thought we had a star (well, we did, it just turned out to be Jose Bautista). Adam won the Silver Slugger at DH and picked up a few MVP votes.

His season started with a bang. He went 4 for 5 with a home run and 6 RBI on opening day. He would finish April with 20 RBI in 23 games. Lind hit 5th in the order for the first three months and then was moved into the 3 spot the rest of the way. He had a couple more big days that year: He drove in 8 RBI on August 31st against the Rangers, and, in a game, a lot of us will remember, he hit 3 home runs in Boston on September 29th, helping us to an 8-7 win.

The season encouraged the Jays to sign Lind to a big contract. He made $1 million in 2010 and then $5 million for the next 3 years, with a series of team options for three following seasons. It would have been a good signing if only the rest of his career continued like that.

In 2010 he hit .237/.287/.425 in 150 games. He hit right-handers well, .275/.327/.502 but left-handers not at all .117/.159/.182. 2011 didn’t go much better, .251/.295/.439 with 26 home runs. He missed most of May with a back issue, which may have caused him some issues the rest of the way. Once again, he couldn’t hit lefties at all. You would have thought John Farrell would have noticed that and platooned him more.

There was more of the same in 2012. In mid-May, the team had seen enough and shipped him off to Vegas and then DFAed him. No one picked him (and his contract) up. In late June, he was called back up.

2013 was a bounce-back season for Lind. He hit .288/.357/.497 with 23 home runs in 143 games. I said that all he needed was a manager who knew how to work a platoon, and after Farrell left for his dream job, we had one in John Gibbons. Adam hit .309/.385/.539 against right-handers, .208/.240/.333 against southpaws, but he had fewer at-bats vs. lefties.

He hit well again, in 2014, .321/.381/.479, but he missed 40+ games with what turned out to be a fracture in his foot. He fouled a ball off his foot in mid-June. By early July, he was hobbling. I’m sure you will all remember that his mother suggested he ought to have an MRI, which made our training staff look bad.

After the season, the Jays traded Lind to the Brewers for Marco Estrada.

The next day we put up a poll and, well, most of us didn’t like the trade:

  • Absolutely hate it: 21%
  • Slightly unhappy, but willing to see what else we do: 49%
  • Neutral: 18%
  • Somewhat happy: 9%
  • Very happy: 2%

We were wrong. It worked out well for us.

After the trade, Lind has had a good season with the Brewers, a bad one with the Mariners, and a good one with the Nationals. 2018 was spent in the minors for the Yankees and Red Sox, which was the end of his baseball career.

Another player I really liked. He seemed soft-spoken, but he was willing to say things in interviews. He would speak his mind, which was refreshing (though maybe the front office didn’t always agree). And he seemed to be a player who liked playing baseball.

Adam is married and has two kids, a girl and a boy. Thankfully this Adam Lind isn’t our Adam Lind.

Adam Lind’s ranking among Jays batting leaders:

Batting average: 19th, .273

OBP: 31st, .328

Slugging: 13th, .466

Games played: 14th, 953

Hits: 12th, 931

Home run: 9th, 146

RBI: 10th, 519

Walks: 21st, 273