The Designated Hitter position is perhaps the most scrutinized position in baseball. Some baseball purists insist that since the DH rule was instituted back in 1973, that Designated Hitters have it easy since they really only play 50 % of the game. After all, they’re only paid to do one thing – hit. But that extra hitter in the lineup changes the entire mechanics of the game and makes the American League game in my opinion, more exciting to watch.
When the Blue Jays announced prior to the beginning of the 2009 season that Adam Lind would be the team’s designated hitter, there was a collective eyeroll. Lind doesn’t exactly fit the bill of the prototypical “feared bat” when it comes to Designated Hitters. He isn’t a tower of intimidation when he steps into the batter’s box like David Ortiz or Jim Thome, but Lind is getting it done this year. And he’s doing it better than any one else in the American League at the same position.
His incredible hitting so far has erased the need to sign someone like Jason Giambi, Milton Bradley or Pat Burrell. I caught Jerry Howarth mentioning this on the game broadcast today, but Adam Lind leads all Designated Hitters in virtually all categories. The numbers below speak for themselves:
|Designated Hitter||AVG||Slugging %||RBI||HR|
What the Blue Jays were paying Frank Thomas to do for $10 million a season, they’re now paying Adam Lind to do for $411,800 dollars. Lind really bucks the trend “you get what you pay for”. Although the DH role is new to Lind, he has settled in quite well batting 5th in the lineup. Although the Blue Jays would probably like to see him as an eventual outfielder, for the time being Adam Lind is becoming one of the most feared bats in the American League.