Our look at the Top 25 Cleveland Indians in 2016 continues with a look at one of the game’s rising stars, who had the best season of any Indians player.
Each passing day brings us closer to the start of another season of Cleveland Indians baseball. And that means the continuation of the promising career of Francisco Lindor.
Our Top 25 list has featured talented players, but none have the potential upside of Lindor. After going to the All-Star Game and winning a Gold Glove in his first full MLB season, the young shortstop has the potential to be a superstar.
Lindor played in a team-high 158 games in 2016, leading the team with 182 hits that saw him finish with a .301 batting average, good for second on the team behind Jose Ramirez. His .358 on-base percentage was good for third on the team.
The young star didn’t blow us away with his hitting, but the .301 average shows just how consistent he was all season. His 78 RBI and 99 runs scored also shed light on his effectiveness on offense.
What made Lindor special to watch was his defense. The Gold Glove award speaks for his talent. He entered the season as a 22-year-old, an age when some are still taking exams and looking for any excuse to party. But Lindor’s maturity showed all season as he formed a dynamic duo with Jason Kipnis.
It is clear to see that Lindor is gifted with a natural feel for how to play the shortstop position, and his talent is not something that is going to drastically drop-off any time soon.
The talent remained in the postseason, when Lindor led the team in hits, batting average, and on-base percentage among players with at least 40 at-bats. He went hitless in the final two games of the World Series, but he was still a major part of why the team even made it that far.
The best part about watching Lindor in 2016 was knowing that this should only be the start of the greatness that is to come. While the Indians have most of the roster locked up for several years, Lindor is also not going anywhere any time soon. It is frustrating to be a fan of a team with stars that are looking for the first opportunity to leave, but Lindor is under team control through 2021.
He is going to be needed if the team is going to continue competing for World Series titles, so it is good to know he will be around for the duration of this upcoming window of the team being a major championship contender.
Some of the country may have only caught on to how great Lindor is during the 2016 postseason, but Indians fans have known it all along. It is why fans love him, and why he earns the top spot on our list of the Top 25 Indians in 2016.