Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is already a star, but his stock will only continue to rise as his career progresses.
The Cleveland Indians found a gem when drafting Francisco Lindor. The young shortstop entered the organization as a top prospect and has blossomed into a star. He is only 23 years old.
He has already won a Gold Glove for his play in 2016, and received another honor Monday night, being named the SI Rising Star of the Year.
It came on a night when LeBron James was named the SI Sportsperson of the Year, so Cleveland was well-represented.
Lindor receiving a major award on the same night as James shows just how much of a star Lindor has already become in less than two full seasons as a member of the Indians.
While Indians fans already knew how great Lindor was, he showed off to the rest of the baseball world throughout the postseason. While some on the roster struggled, Lindor slashed .310/.355/.466 in 15 postseason games, and even added two home runs.
His regular season play was just as impressive, as his .301 batting average was only topped by Jose Ramirez, among qualified hitters. His defense was even better, winning not only the Gold Glove, but the Platinum Glove award voted on by fans.
All these honors prove just how valuable Lindor is to the team at such a young age. It would be in the team’s best interest to work toward a long-term extension for Lindor as soon as possible, as his price will only continue to climb every year.
His recognition as a rising star is only the beginning to something even greater. Think of all he has accomplished in only his first full season. He made an All-Star Game appearance, won a Gold Glove, won the SI Rising Star award, and finished ninth in AL MVP voting.
This all came on top of a season in which he led the team on the field by appearing in 158 regular season games, along with all 15 postseason games. He is the main piece in one of the best infields in all of baseball, and could even surpass Omar Vizquel in Indians lore if he continues at the pace he set in 2016.
It is crazy to think that Lindor has not even hit his prime yet, but that is good news for Indians fans. Perhaps sharing a stage with LeBron will be a sign of good things to come for Lindor and his Indians teammates in the future.