Prospect Instinct 2012
Francisco Lindor SS Cleveland Indians
Height: 5’11” Weight: 175
Francisco Lindor was selected as the #8 overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Cleveland Indians. The Monteverde Academy SS had accolades of High School All-American and gold medal winner in the World Youth Championships for Team USA. All before signing for a Cleveland Indians record $2.9mm for a Prep player.
Lindor is a switch hitter with excellent bat control for a high school player but it’s his glove that got him drafted at the top half of the first round. While many were open to dropping into the upper echelon of elite prospects before he played a full season we were a little cautious. He came in just outside our Top 100 for the Baseball Instinct 360°:
106°. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians, 11/14/1993 – The consensus of opinion is that Lindor will stick at shortstop. He has quickness, great range and a cannon-arm. Offensively, they hope he can play the table-setter role in the batting lineup and use his plus speed to cruise the bases. With Tony Wolters a year ahead of him development-wise and Cabrera and Kipnis in the bigs already, there won’t be any need to rush him. Unfortunately, he signed just in time to provide us with only a tiny sample of statistical data. He should go back to NY/Penn to start 2012. Then we will have some numbers to dig into. ETA 2015.
We were wrong on his starting location for the 2012 season and he skipped to the Midwest League where we finally have a little bit of data to dig into. Let’s take a look at the Bat and Glove to see what makes this kid one to watch as a future major league shortstop.
Overall it’s Lindor’s contact ability that has made his bat a potential tool in the future. As we mentioned, he’s a switch hitter, currently a better contact hitter from the right side but has better power from the left side because his swing more conducive to loft. As his .394/.279 left/right split shows, his natural right hand swing is where his plus tool resides right now.
How much he develops from the left side will determine his ceiling as a hitter. His power will never be more than average and may top out around a 35 on the scouting scale. Possible double-digit home runs if he maxes out the power.
His speed is average and should remain at that level as he moves up the ladder. He’s still a raw baserunner, but that is acceptable at his age and level of development as a professional.
This is the tool that has Lindor making noise to the tune of Omar Vizquel comparisons by some of the other outlets. Vizquel was one of, if not the best SS in major league history. So let’s temper expectations for Lindor.
Lindor currently has near plus range and an excellent arm that grades out as a 60 on the scouting scale. His actions on the field are fluid and he has a feel for the game that keeps him in the right situational positions to make difficult plays look routine. Despite his age, if there was a way to get to the majors based on glove alone, Lindor has that type of defensive upside.
While we’re not ready to put him in the upper echelon of prospects, he is one of the top SS prospects in the game. His jump to the Midwest League and the fact that he’s handling it well is a good sign. But his splits from the left and right side are going to be a main focus to watch in his development.
If he can develop from the left side as he moves up the ladder he could end up a #2 hitter with 10-15 HR power and 30+ SB potential while playing well above average defense at SS and chance at being a gold glove caliber defender. He’s just getting started and has a long development path. So far so good. Into the Top 100. Looking like it.
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