Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
The Milwaukee Brewers made a move this offseason that has garnered almost zero attention, and I absolutely love it. The Brewers traded Marco Estrada (yeah, that pitcher who had a league leading 1.73 HR/9 last season) for first baseman, Adam Lind. Lind is listed on rosterresource.com as Milwaukee’s starting first baseman and as long as he’s healthy he will start every game against right-handed pitching (my guess is he sits against lefties and Jonathan Lucroy slides over to first).
When healthy, Lind is absolutely fantastic.
Last season he slashed .321/.381/.479 with six home runs, 38 runs and 40 RBI to go with a sparkling .376 wOBA and 141 wRC+ in just 318 plate appearances.
In 2013 he slashed .288/.357/.497 with 23 home runs, 67 runs and 67 RBI along with a .368 wOBA and 131 wRC+ in 521 plate appearances.
For his career he has a .273/.327/.466 slash line, a .342 wOBA, a 110 wRC+ and a .193 ISO; and against right-handed pitching (again, he’ll probably sit versus most lefties) he has a career .369 wOBA and 128 wRC+.
The only issue with Lind is his inability to stay healthy, in two of the last three seasons he recorded 353 plate appearances or fewer. And that was when he played in the American League, where he could be used as a DH. Now that he’s in the National League he’ll be required to play the field in order to take the plate, that’s probably not going to help him health wise.
With all that being said though, Lind is currently going undrafted in standard leagues — he has an average ADP of 307 — making him a huge bargain.
In shallower leagues (10-12 team mixed) I absolutely hate using a mid-round pick to take a bat with limited upside, especially to fill a spot with flexibility (MI/CI/Util). For example, I’m never going to be the guy to draft Matt Carpenter in the 12th round for my CI slot. I’m always going to use that pick to snag some saves, or an upside bat like Mookie Betts, or a starting pitcher like Garrett Richards. If I specifically need a third baseman and he’s the best one left, that’s one thing, but you can find suitable corner infielders on the waiver wire all season long in a ten team league. I just can’t draft Carpenter there and limit my flexibility down the road when there’s a potential ace like Richards available.
Instead I’ll leave that spot empty until the last round and snag Lind. If he’s healthy I know he’ll hit and provide tremendous value (much more than Carpenter would in the 12th round), and if he gets hurt in May I’ll simply cut him and replace him with whoever the current hot bat is floating around in free agency; and I won’t think twice about it because it didn’t cost me anything to get him.