Cleveland Indians: Francisco Lindor is the Most Important Player in 2017

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Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) reacts after scoring a run against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning in game one of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 25, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) reacts after scoring a run against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning in game one of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cleveland Indians have a stacked roster after signing Edwin Encarnacion, but Francisco Lindor is the key to the team’s success in 2017.

With a roster like the Cleveland Indians’, it’s hard not to dream big on all the championship possibilities for the Tribe. There is no doubt it will be a team effort, but there will be one player who will stand out more than the others this year, if he hasn’t done so already.

Sure, there were some top contenders, including Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller, Edwin Encarnacion, and even Michael Brantley in good health. But I’m predicting this year’s ultimate weapon will be none other than Francisco Lindor, over everyone else.

First off, he has an advanced mindset behind his raw talent and power. Catcher Roberto Perez attested to his temperament during the postseason:

"“He controls his emotions really well out there…He’s out there competing, and it doesn’t matter who’s throwing. But you can see he’s always smiling and trying to get something going. That’s huge. If he’s not one of our leaders now, he’s going to be one.”"

Even throughout his first World Series, Lindor maintained a determined, positive mindset that played into outstanding playing.

Next, he is customizing his swings to handle challenging pitchers, and succeeding. Last year, Lindor started believing [he] could make the adjustments to different pitchers and their throws.

Then comes his play in the field, where Lindor is still growing as a player and finessing his skills. He’s only 23—the youngest player on the field. It’s hard to get better when you’re one of the best, but Lindor can and will push himself higher than last year.

In only two years with the Indians, Lindor has a career .306 batting average—driving in 129 RBI and stealing 31 bases with only two years in MLB. He was an AL All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and a Platinum Glove winner last year. His name ranked within the top 20 AL players for batting average, stolen bases, OBP, games played, hits, and runs scored.

Next: 5 Most Important Series of 2017

Other players will make huge impacts on the team, but Lindor is a young, talented leader who learns with every swing. Get ready to hear a lot of “Frank-ie!” chants this year.

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