For Lind, less is more when it comes to hitting
First baseman has simple approach at plate
PHILADELPHIA -- His simple swing is only the most visible part of Brewers first baseman Adam Lind's "less is more" approach to hitting. While other players immerse themselves in video, statistics and scouting reports, Lind subscribes to "see it and hit it."
Lately, it's working. Lind is 13-for-31 (.419) with nine RBIs in his last 10 games, and entered Tuesday with a .326/.378/.494 slash line in June. He was out of Tuesday's lineup because the Brewers faced Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, but drew a go-ahead walk with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of Milwaukee's 4-3 win.
"I feel like I would have been an everyday big leaguer earlier if I wouldn't have listened to reports, because I was beat before I got into the box," Lind said. "The description on the sheet made it seem like it was impossible to get hits off these guys. I was not going into the box too confident my first few years in the big leagues."
Now, unless he's mired in a tough slump, which happened in May as Lind batted .217, he does not watch video and he does not give scouting reports distributed daily more than a passing glance. Like right-fielder Ryan Braun, Lind also rarely takes the early afternoon batting cage swings popular with many other players.
When Lind faces an unfamiliar pitcher, which has happened more this year with a move to the National League, he does investigate one particular statistic.
"For me, a big stat is swing and miss [rate]," Lind said. "At this level, that probably means your pitch is somewhat invisible. When I can see your pitches -- not that I'm going to get a hit, but it's a big advantage to me when I can recognize the pitch out of the hand."
Lind is not saying his approach is superior. Plenty of Major Leaguers have thrived in baseball's information era, which dates back to the likes of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn keeping meticulous notes about pitchers and pioneering use of videotape.
More recently, digital video has vastly simplified the process. The Brewers have a coach, Joe Crawford, who specializes in delivering whatever a player wants to see. With a few clicks, for example, a hitter can watch on his iPad all of Hamels' pitches to a left-handed batter when he's behind in the count.
"It's our job to find out the best way to get players information," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, "and part of that is getting it to them in the simplest way so that we don't create this 'paralysis by analysis' situation.
"There's more tools for a player to analyze himself than ever before. We're probably at a tipping point. The question I look at is, how do we get that information to them in a way that's helpful to them so they can apply the useful information? And also, how do we figure out the best way each guy takes in information? It's going to be different for everybody. Some players work better when they have less."
Lind prefers less, and has built a career that spans more than 4,000 Major League plate appearances. He is modest in assessing his results, however.
"I'm just a serviceable big leaguer, you know?" he said. "Just trying to keep food on the table."