Last Call For Adam Lind

Apr 9, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind (26) looks on from the dugout before their game against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

At school, I have a buddy named Adam Lind. When I first met him, my immediate reaction was, "Hey, there's a big league baseball player named after you! Neato!!!"

Unfortunately, I can no longer make that comment:

When Lind was called up for good in the middle of the 2008 season, Jose Bautista was a part-time utility player that had just spent his first five MLB seasons playing for five different teams. At that point, you would've assumed that the Blue Jays would be building their batting order around the 25-year-old, entering-his-prime Lind, not the 27-year-old, does-he-even-have-a-prime Bautista.

Well, generally speaking, we all know what happened next. Lind blew up in 2009, hitting .305 with 46 doubles and 35 homers to emerge as one of the AL's best hitters. The Blue Jays prized him with a big contract extension in the hopes of locking up a potential star.

The next year, Bautista blew up, too, and the Blue Jays once again handed a major contract extension to their breakout slugger. But something else happened during that season: Adam Lind totally regressed as a hitter.

When the Blue Jays locked up Lind long-term for $18 million over four seasons, they were agreeing to a deal that would cover his Age-26 though Age-29 seasons. Basically, Toronto was signing up for what someone would reasonably expect to be the hitter's prime years.

In Lind, though, we have a pretty great example of when the aging curve simply doesn't fit. Generally speaking, hitters tend to peak around their Age-27 season, with their fielding skills peaking slightly earlier. Given this, and Lind's dominant 2009 performance as a 25-year-old, it'd be reasonable to assume that Lind would maintain, or maybe even improve, as he got older.

Here's what actually happened, though:

2008-2009, pre-extension: .297/.351/.518, .221 isolated power, 7.3% BB%, 16.8% K%

2010-2012, post-extension: .238/.289/.420, .182 isolated power, 6.5% BB%, 21.3% K%

We're talking a guy who entered his prime and proceeded to take less pitches, make less contact and hit the ball with less authority even when getting wood on the ball. Whatever expectations the Blue Jays might have had for Lind over the course of the contract, he's absolutely fell short in pretty much every way.

Now, this isn't a guarantee that Lind is done, because this is baseball and weird things tend to happen, like a 25-year-old slugger suddenly losing his mojo at the plate for nearly three years running. But for now, there's a very good reason that Lind is in Triple-A, and it's not hard to boil it down to this:

Satchel Price is a newsdesk contributor for SB Nation Midwest and a feature columnist for SB Nation Chicago. His baseball writing also appears on MLB Daily Dish and Beyond the Box Score. For more of his splendid whimsy in display, follow him on Twitter.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MLB Daily Dish

You must be a member of MLB Daily Dish to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MLB Daily Dish. You should read them.

Join MLB Daily Dish

You must be a member of MLB Daily Dish to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MLB Daily Dish. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker