As more and more players are being traded or signed, teams have begun to target specific role types of players to further improve their teams. The Mariners had a glaring hole at first base after trading Logan Morrison earlier this offseason, and only having Jesus Montero as the incumbent option. They seem to have resolved that issue today by acquiring Adam Lind from the Brewers. Lind had been a popular name floated around at last season’s trade deadline, but Milwaukee decided to hold on to him and rather ship him in the offseason.
Lind burst onto the scene in 2009 when he mashed 35 homers and knocked in 114 RBI. But since then, he has struggled to maintain consistency as it seems like his power comes and goes each passing year. Last season he had 20 homers in 149 games, batted a respectable .277, and drove in 87 RBI. All in all, a decent season for him and fantasy owners that snagged him quickly and rode him during his hot streaks. These base line stats seem to be the ceiling for Lind at this point of his career as the mid 20 homer days seem to be out of reach.
What has killed Lind’s chance at consistent fantasy production is that he has been absolutely dominated by lefties. Last season, even though he was widely protected from facing them, he only batted .221 and failed to homer against lefties. Clearly, Lind will continue to be benched against lefties as the Mariners will probably platoon him with Montero.
While he has certainly struggled against LHP, he has cemented his value with his ability to pound righties. He is a career .293 hitter against righties and 145 of his 166 career home runs have come versus them as well. Obviously there are more right handed starters in baseball than lefties so Lind will get the majority of playing time for the Mariners at first base this season, but what fantasy value does Lind now have in Seattle?
With the move to Seattle there are some clear red flags that fantasy owners might want to take into consideration before thinking about Lind as a possible CI option. The move form Miller Park to Safeco Field is one of the worst moves a hitter could make as Miller Park remains one of the best hitters parks in the league. Which was something Lind took full advantage of last season as his, .328/10 HR/49 RBI line at home, shows that he was more than comfortable there. This could directly lead to a drop in home runs and if Lind cannot at least offer a power boost, his fantasy value is pretty nonexistent.
While the move certainly hurts his value, there are some things that drafters could hang their hats on for why Lind should be a late round target. Lind should slot into the middle of the Mariners order behind the likes of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz, so the RBI potential should be there and help give Lind value. Even though it is a small sample size, 90 at bats, Lind has actually posted a respectable line at Safeco field. Over those at bats he posted a, .282/5 HR/15 RBI line, so it may point to Lind’s power possibly being able to override the ill effects of Safeco.
For me Lind loses value with his move to Seattle as I am not fully confident that he will be able to offer the power needed to keep him rosterable all season. I think that he is better served as being a late round flier more than anything, as his value usually comes when he goes on one of his torrid stretches where owners have hopefully kept him long enough to enjoy. You could do worse at your CI spot late in the draft, but there will surely be other tantalizing options there they may have you look past Lind in 2016.
2016 Early Projections: .270/18 HR/75 RBI/.840 OPS