Todd Anthony Linden
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- School University of Washington, Louisiana State University
- High School Central Kitsap High School
- Debut August 18, 2003
- Final Game September 30, 2007
- Born June 30, 1980 in Edmonds, WA USA
Todd Linden was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round of the 2001 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Tom Korenek and made his pro debut the next summer. It took him less than two seasons to reach the majors, doing so in mid-August of 2003, when he hit .211 in 18 games for San Francisco. In his first pro season, in 2002, he had hit .314 in 11 games for the Shreveport Swamp Dragons of the Texas League to earn a promotion to AAA, and hit .278 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs in 125 games for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League before his debut. He had another good season for Fresno in 2004, hitting 28 doubles and 23 homers in 130 games while batting .260, but he failed to hit at the major league level, with an average of just .156 in 16 games.
Todd got his first real opportunity at the big league level in 2005, but hit .216 in 60 games and was back at Fresno for the majority of the season. He had his best year to date in the PCL, as in 95 games he hit 25 doubles and 30 homers, drove in 80 runs and batted .321. PCL pitching no longer held any secret for him, but he was not able to translate this in the Show. He got one final opportunity to do so in 2007, but was hitting just .182 after 30 games when the Giants gave up on the former top draft pick, placing him on [waivers]] from which he was selected by the Florida Marlins on May 18th. He hit pretty well for the Fish, with an average of .271, but without displaying the power he had shown in AAA, as he was limited to 9 extra-base hits, 7 of them doubles, in his 85 games. Thus his OPS+ was still below average, at 87.
In 2008, after signing as a free agent with the Oakland Athletics, he had one of the best spring trainings in memory, hitting .586. Comprehensive statistics for spring training games have only been kept since 2006, but that batting average was still the highest anyone had put up heading into spring training in 2021, when Kevin Newman destroyed the mark. However, it's well known that spring training games don't count, and Todd failed to even make the team that year, and in fact had already appeared in his last major league game by that point. He continued to hit well in AAA for three different organizations over the next season and a half, but without getting another shot at the big time.
Linden signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles partway into the 2009 season. He debuted on July 2nd, hitting sixth and playing right field. He was 2 for 5 in a loss to Yu Darvish and the Nippon Ham Fighters. He did well that year, hitting .292 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs in 73 games, but he slipped markedly in 2010, when he hit just .185 in 53 games. He was back in the U.S. in 2011, where he destroyed opposition pitching with the Edmonton Capitals of the short-lived North American Baseball League: in 86 games, he hit .355 with 14 homers and 79 RBIs. That earned him another shot in organized baseball, back in the Giants organization. He did well back with Fresno in 2012, ten years after first playing with the team, hitting .280 with 11 homers and 66 RBIs in 127 games, but in 2013, at age 33, he slipped to .204 in 47 games and called it a career.
Linden's brother, Mark Linden, played minor league ball in 1989.