Jays fans all know the story with Adam Lind: a great 2009 followed by an awful 2010, followed by a 2011 that looked promising at times, but was allegedly derailed by some manner of bullshit– injury or poor conditioning or… whatever– and wound up with stats looking just as bad as his fugly 2010. (Parkes rather awesomely ruminated on this last September at Getting Blanked).
Believing their own propaganda, and undoubtedly looking at the potential that still lies in what would be a very team-friendly contract if Lind ever returned to anything close to his 2009 levels of production, the Jays stayed the course over the winter, intent on entering 2012 with Lind still entrenched at the position. It is what it is.
Most of us, I think, would rather try and be hopeful that the Jays excuses aren’t as completely full of shit as they seem, and don’t need to be reminded about just how fucking ridiculously terrible the last two seasons have been.
I say most of us.
But clearly some observers do.
Because he hasn’t? @MParadiso: why can nobody around the Jays admit Lind has been one of the very worst hitters in baseball the last 2yrs?
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) March 21, 2012
Yes, Wilner again dipped into his trusty ol’ bag of ridiculousness today, which led to a flurry of tweets disputing his notion (which he later says is based on Lind’s OPS+ of 92 “over the last few years”), and– for me, at least– a quick bit of digging, followed by an explosion of mind-blowing statistical evidence of just how epic Lind’s struggles have been.
For example, by wOBA, over the last two years Lind has been the 22nd worst hitter in baseball, among 134 qualified batters. This puts him behind such hitting luminaries as Alberto Callaspo, Denard Span and *COUGH* Lyle Overbay.
By wRC+, FanGraphs’ better-weighted OPS+-like stat, he’s 18th-worst.
Among qualified first basemen– where the bar is set far, far, far higher– that’s dead last in both. (Actually, his 92 wRC+ is even with Ty Wigginton, as if that’s some kind of fucking accomplishment).
Wilner notes that the 92 OPS+ means he was “about 8% worse than the average MLB hitter,” but what’s missing is the fact that league averages are dragged down by guys who don’t get regular playing time. Among guys teams actually gave enough playing time to qualify for the batting title, Lind’s 95 OPS+ in 2011 was 105th of 145. In 2010 his 90 OPS+ was 121st of 141 qualified Major Leaguers.
And against left-handed pitching?
He’s the worst qualified hitter in MLB over the last two years by thirty-fucking-one points of wOBA– trailing Aaron Hill’s .250 wOBA vs. LHP with an astonishingly terrible .219. His wRC+ is a whopping twenty-fucking-nine, meaning he’s looking way up at Hill’s 49. And this is despite Lind having a 56 point advantage in BABIP. He has a -23.5 wRAA against lefties over the last two seasons.
Holy mother of fuck. Your starting first baseman, ladies and gentleman!