Francisco Lindor is the Indians 23-year-old slick fielding short stop. Lindor’s glove earned him top 10 prospects status in both 2014 and 2015, but his power didn’t emerge until his first season in the major leagues. Lindor played 5 seasons in the minors and managed to only hit 21 home runs. In his brief major league career, he has quickly eclipsed those totals in the bigs, including a current home run pace of 30. The power is nice but far from what earned Lindor his spot in the big leagues. He is extremely tough to fool at the plate. This season he is touting an impressive 6% swinging strike rate. As a switch hitter, his 86% contact rate is top 20 in the league and he strikes out at less than 13% of the time. His balanced approach has him swinging at just 40% of fastballs this year, and making contact on more than 95% of them. Even His elite contact and improved power hasn’t prevented him from streaks and slumps. In fact, in June he is hitting just .202 with 9 extra base hits and an OPS of just .572. This comes only a month removed from starting the season at a triple slash line of 309/380/638 while hitting 7 home runs in his first 22 games. One possible explanation for his inconsistency early on could be his increased fly ball rate from last season to this season (GB/FB 0.99 down to 0.67). Another could be his extremely uncharacteristic BABIP (batting average on balls in play). Lindor is coming off a season with a BABIP of .324, and this season is not even cracking .250. BABIP can be extremely fluky and in Lindor’s case it appears to be just that. As one of the leagues youngest players, he also comes with some of the most promise. He is a complete hitter with a dynamic combination of both power and consistency. He is a continuous threat at the plate regardless of count, pitch, or situation. The best example of Lindor’s offensive versatility is that he has homered off of 5 different pitches from each side of the plate this season. We can expect more power and a quick rebound in batting average as Lindor continues hitting his way toward the top of the league’s shortstop ranks.
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