Cleveland Indians shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor had a nice game yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI for Double-A Akron in the Eastern League, leading the RubberDucks to a 7-1 victory of Erie. Lindor has now played 71 games this year, a convenient half-season of work. Let's check up on him.
The slash line looks nice and solid at .281/.360/.403, wRC+ 113, very credible for a 20-year-old shortstop against Eastern League competition. He is four and a half years younger than his EL peers, so age-relative-to-league is another mark in his favor. He's got 35 walks and 51 strikeouts in 318 plate appearances, so a simple doubling would project him out with about 70 walks and 100 strikeouts at his current pace in full campaign. Those numbers fit the scouting reports that he has a good eye at the plate. His production has been rock-steady from month to month so far, without any huge hot streaks or long cold snaps. That also fits his reputation as a steady producer.
A switch-hitter, he's hit a little better from the right side of the plate (.813 OPS) than from the left (.732 OPS). That's also exactly in line with scouting reports saying that his swing is a little stronger and shows more pop on the natural side.
Lindor was best-known for his defense pre-season and continues to impress in that department. Minor league defensive stats are problematic, but his error rate has improved compared to last year and there are no obvious problems with his range factors. In-person reports continue to praise his fielding acumen, rating him as above-average to excellent in all defensive categories. There's nothing in the numbers, such as they are, to contradict the scouting reports.
Overall, Lindor is doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing.
What about the rest of the year? The Indians promoted Lindor from A-ball to Double-A last August for the final three weeks of the season. A similar move could happen this year; the shortstop at Columbus is minor league vet Justin Sellers, who wouldn't stand in Lindor's way should the Indians wish to promote the youngster. Both Akron and Triple-A Columbus are over .500 and have a post-season shot, so perhaps deciding which affiliate needs him more could weight into any decision in August/September.
Lindor doesn't have to be protected on the 40-man yet, so barring injury disasters in the Cleveland infield, we should not logically expect big league playing time until next year. Which probably means he'll be promoted to the majors tomorrow.