Scouting Jays Prospect #1: Adam Lind
Name: Adam Lind
DOB: July 17, 1982
Outfielder Adam Lind was selected in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of South Alabama University. The first phrase when you mention Adam Lind to a talent evaluator is "this kid can hit." Since being drafted, Lind has shown his ability to hit the ball at every level, and has yet to struggle for a long period of time.
Dick Scott, the Blue Jays Director of Player Development, is also among the crowd impresses by the left-handed batter.
"Adam has moved through our system very rapidly and he has hit at every stop," said Scott. "He forced our hand last season because of his progress at the plate. He won the Eastern League MVP, hit nearly 400 in Syracuse and carried his hot bat all the way to Toronto."
Most scouts rave about Lind because of his hitting fundamentals and his ability to make adjustments on the fly.
"He makes such great adjustments at the plate for such a young player, and you can't throw a fastball by him."
Early on in his professional career, Lind was not putting up power numbers. Scouts, however, were not worried because he was showing good gap power and they believed with enough experience the power numbers would rise. During the second half of the 2005 season, Lind began hitting for more home runs, and in 2006 he broke through with 19 home runs in 91 games with New Hampshire and 5 home runs in just 34 games with Triple-A Syracuse.
"Adam has above average power and I expect him to hit for more power in the majors."
''We've always heard that the kid can hit,'' Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the 23-year-old. ''He's one of those kids that was born to hit.''
A few scouts worry about his ability to play the outfield, but Lind has worked extremely hard on that aspect of his game and believes he's improving day-by-day.
""My footwork is average," said Lind, "and I do need to get quicker with my feet in the outfield. I am improving."
"He has progressed defensively," say's Scott. "He will make a solid major league left fielder."
Batting and Power: Lind is filled with potential when it comes to his bat and power. Lind has the classic left-handed swing, just like his idol Ken Griffey Jr., although his body is similar to Todd Helton of the Rockies. The outfielder gets the bat head through the zone quickly and has power to all fields. Lind is a pure gap-to-gap hitter and some scouts mention the name Lyle Overbay to point out his potential for hitting doubles.
Base Running and Speed: Lind does have some surprising speed in him. He will not steal 30 bases a year, however, does have the ability to move around the bases, and make things happen.
Defense: The left fielder will never win a gold glove, and is still trying to find out his true position. He has played both the corner outfield positions as well as first base. Lind profiles to be a left fielder or a first baseman, and if his bat continues to produce, you can be sure the Blue Jays find a spot for him. Scouts differ on Lind's defense. Some believe he will make the proper adjustments to be a decent outfielder, while others believe he will always be a liability in the outfield.
Projection: Most talent evaluators believe Lind will be a successful major league hitter, but his fielding will cause many issues. When you mention the designated hitters role, you get the answer that he will not hit more than 10 home runs in a season at the major league level. Lind needs to work on his defensive abilities in left-field, and if he does, he could be a dangerous hitter in the majors. Scouts project him as a contact hitter, and a good two-hole hitter in the major leagues.
2007 Outlook: The outfielder will begin the 2007 season with Triple-A Syracuse and will only be called up to the big leagues if an injury occurs in Toronto since the organization does not want him up to just sit on the bench and not get his at bats.