Thursday, June 21, 2007

An Underachiever No More

“He just never produced for me.”
--rough quote of a GM trying to reacquire Adrian Linton

Adrian Linton has been traded twice in his career. He’d been labeled an underachiever until he came to Baltimore. No longer. His first full season with Baltimore rightly could be considered the breakout year. But his second full year with Baltimore, still in progress, is what everyone is going to remember.

No slouch before his filling the Sandinistas uniform, Linton accumulated 123 runs, 44 homeruns and 143 RBI in 187 games, he has launched himself into the stratosphere of superstardom since. In 98 games this year, Linton has 76 runs, 30 Hrs, 100 RBI and a .319 BA. Plus he made an appearance in LF in a little game called the midsummer classic.

Baltimore needed Linton to fulfill the potential he’d been widely regarded of having, but never tapping, this year after having the chutzpah to let Woody Gaillard walk after having a career year. Linton has ably filled whatever offensive void Gaillard left. Gaillard has produced this year, on his new team, when in the lineup and not hobbled by injuries. But nobody in Baltimore really cares, thanks, in large part, to Linton.

Linton credits his reaching the summit of his potential to the Baltimore organization. "Look, everyone knew I always had the talent, especially me," Linton explains, "But, you know, I was young. The motivation wasn't there to be great. I thought I could make money, have a good time and play ball. Coming to Baltimore really changed that. I was on a winner for the first time. This organization is serious man, you gotta play when you're here. It woke me up."

Linton’s last two teams regret having traded him more with every passing game.