In the wake of being nominated for another Gold Glove, sometimes it’s important to sit back and enjoy how fun the Cleveland Indians shortstop really is.
Everyone loves Francisco Lindor. No, really. Everyone… I mean everyone, loves him. From the Cleveland Indians most hated rivals to teams in the National League, it’s impossible to hate “Mr. Smile.” And for good reason? Lindor has become one of the many popular young faces in baseball. For a team in a small market, that’s all the Indians could want and more.
Lindor has staked his claim as one of the best shortstops in baseball. His electrifying defense is matched only by that of Andrelton Simmons when considering their defensive Wins Above Replacement. It’s almost reminiscent of Omar Vizquel in the 90’s. Omar was arguably the best defensive shortstop in MLB history, so comparing Frankie to him is high praise.
But Lindor has earned that praise. He’s a three-time All-Star, Silver Slugger, and now he’s up for his second Gold Glove award. But it’s not just his on the field traits. Off the field, Lindor keeps his smiling face going while he does work to help his homeland of Puerto Rico.
Lindor was seemingly the lone offensive spark for the Indians in both the 2017 and 2018 ALDS. In 2017 he hits a grand slam off the foul pole to help the Indians come back against the Yankees in game two. This year, he homered in games two and three to try and rally the Indians offense.
Lindor has a knack for avoiding prolonged slumps. It was quietly a career-year for him. This career year felt like it went under-the-radar, probably because Lindor seemingly one-ups himself annually.
He’s the best player on this team when it comes to clutch hitting, and he’s arguably the best defender the Indians have. When the time comes to pay him, the Indians will have to offer up quite a bit. He’s worth every penny. This is Cleveland’s new LeBron James. He’s the best athlete they boast and it’s not close.
We should take care to cherish the time he has with us. In Cleveland, we know good things don’t last forever (but bad things seemingly last an eternity). It’s not very often an athlete like Francisco Lindor comes around. The duo between Lindor and Jose Ramirez can give Clevelanders something to smile about for years to come. That alone is worth whatever amount Lindor asks for.
2019 is sure to be another incredible year for the Tribe shortstop. Every year that the Indians have Lindor should be an incentive for the front office to field the best possible team around him.