Adam Lind has been frustrating, to say the least since his break-out season in 2009 during which he earned a silver slugger award. His numbers dropped from all star worthy to sub replacement level for back to back seasons culminating in a demotion to AAA Las Vegas on May 17th and being out-righted on May 31st.
To Lind’s credit, he accepted his demotion for what it was, a chance to work on his problems and earn his spot on the major league roster. Even in hitter friendly Las Vegas, he stood out posting a .392/.448/.664 line in 32 games with 8 homers and 29 RsBI, good for a wOBA of .472. On June 24th, just over a month after his demotion, the Blue Jays purchased his contract from the Las Vegas 51s.
Since his recall, the 29 year old has posted a .995 OPS with 5 homers amongst his 22 hits and has brought his slash line up from .186/.273/.311 at the time of his demotion to .239/.314/.418 after his 2 for 4 performance last night. More important than the impressive numbers, however, is that he has passed the eye test. He reminds one of the Lind of 2009, well balanced at the plate, more comfortable driving the ball to the opposite field and laying off tough pitches.
Of course all of these improvements come with the caveats that 20 games is a relatively small sample size and that Lind has gone on month long tears during his down years in the past, but his improvements are marked and AAA hitting coach Chad Mottola has been praised by Blue Jays batters for his ability to improve swing mechanics.
Nobody can predict with certainty if Adam Lind is back or if this is simply a hot stretch, but with his team friendly contract ($4.5M in 2013 with club options for 2014-2016) and power potential from the left side, it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the end of Lind’s tenure in Toronto.