Cleveland Indians Wrountable: Predicting Francisco Lindor’s First Season

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Jun 14, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians short stop Francisco Lindor (12) sits in dugout during the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Lindor’s Defense Will Be Stellar, But Not His Bat

Matt Bretz: I expect to see some “disappointing” offensive numbers from Lindor when all is said and done this season. By that I mean I expect his numbers to be a good bit below league average, think Jose Ramirez last year. Probably post an OBP around .300-.310 and a wRC+ around 85. I do expect him to steal around 15 bases and hit a few homers. Where he’ll really shine though is on defense. Can’t judge him by his first week, but he’s going to be very special there. People thought Ramirez looked good at short last year will be in awe of how good Lindor plays the position. Wouldn’t rule out a 2.5+ win season simply on his base-running and defense.

Speaking of Ramirez, I absolutely expect to see him back in the big leagues this year. However, I’m not completely convinced it’ll be with the Indians. It may be a bit of a long-shot but wouldn’t completely shock me if he was used as trade bait at the deadline this summer, especially if Lindor is playing well. That said, I do think if he’s not traded we will see him back in Cleveland, even if just in September. Very good on the bases and has versatility to play several positions; he can still be a valuable asset down the stretch for this Indians team.

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Ryan Rosko: I would not expect much from Lindor. Average numbers in his first year should be the goal. He is going to steal a solid number of bases too. Most rookies struggle, that is a given. With his talent and skills, I just do not see the struggling aspect affecting his game as much as the next guy. I do however expect the season to be a feel it out type of process for him.

I expect Ramirez to get called back up when rosters expand later this summer. With how he played this season, especially prior to being called down, I doubt another team is going to want to make a deal for Ramirez. Once he does get called up though, as I expect will happen, it will be very interesting to see what role he will be given.

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Nick Blazek: I see Lindor impressing this season. He’s not going to “wow” with big numbers, but I think he’ll bring a consistent approach to the plate, and in turn post respectable numbers. .265, 10ish HRs, 45 RBI. His defense will improve as he becomes more comfortable at the big league level. He’s not overwhelmed, but there are definitely some jitters there.

I feel like Ramirez will be back this season, especially with September call-ups. But..I think his time in Cleveland may be nearing an end. Players sometimes only get a certain window to make their mark, and I think Ramirez may have missed his.

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Others were much more confident that Lindor will be able to get on base:

Next: Lindor Will Hit Better Than Expected