Shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor is the star of the group in this year's Indians Winter Development Program, but you'd never know it listening to him speak.
The way Lindor, 19, carries himself during an interview, deferring to the other players participating in the program, nonchalantly talking up their abilities when a question was originally asked about his, speaks volumes for Lindor's maturity and natural humility.
"With Francisco, it's this awareness that stands out about him," Indians farm director Ross Atkins said. "We've talked for a long time about his professional maturity, his discipline, his commitment. Obviously, the ability's there. But the awareness in this environment and this setting, seeing him interact with [catcher] Yan Gomes or an older player or asking a question to [Indians manager] Terry Francona. The questions he's asking and the responses he has, it just increases our confidence that his awareness is right where it should be for an elite professional athlete, let alone one at his age."
It's one of the reasons Lindor was recently chosen by Baseball America as the Indians' No. 1 prospect heading into the season for the second consecutive year, despite a so-so offensive season in his first full year in the minor leagues.
Lindor started his career as one of the youngest players in low Class A. He started strong offensively but began to struggle in the middle of the season, fighting his way though fatigue and making adjustments.
The Indians' first-round pick (eighth overall) in the 2011 draft out of Florida's Montverde Academy, Lindor finished the season at Lake County batting .257 with 24 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 44 RBI. He also stole 28 bases in 40 attempts.
Learning from last season, the 5-foot-11 Lindor said he's gained 10 pounds of muscle during the offseason and is up to 185 pounds.
Francisco Lindor remains ahead of the pack for Indians
Akron Beacon Journal | Jan 15