Originally written on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/4/14
BY Tony LastoriaSpecial to FOXSportsOhio.com By now, every Indians fan has heard of Cleveland Indians shortstop and top prospect Francisco Lindor. Its kind of hard not to know who he is since he has taken the organization by storm since he was drafted in June of 2011. In almost two years time, Lindor has established himself as the heir apparent at shortstop for the Indians and one of the best prospects in all of baseball. He's almost a legend in his own right. Thats some pretty big hype and expectations for Lindor to fill, but then again Lindor is a different kind of player. He doesnt accept things just being handed to him because of his natural talent and the big bonus he received when he signed with the Indians. He works as hard as anyone in the entire organization. From outside appearances, he acts like a player that went undrafted and received a minimal signing bonus. There is something he does every day and every week that I get fulfillment in sharing, Indians Vice President of Player Development Ross Atkins said in a recent interview. He pushed the envelope in the offseason and came in stronger and faster - and is already the strongest and fastest shortstop in our organization. He is stronger and quicker than Asdrubal Cabrera. He is just as committed as any player in our system, and when he is also the most talented that typically ends up as a good equation. If one didn't know any better, the praise that Atkins bestowed upon Lindor may come off as sounding like hyperbole, but there is league-wide agreement about the shortstop's potential. Not just from the Indians themselves, but from scouts and executives for other teams. He is just a unique player that has talent pouring out of his body, yet has amazing work ethic and does whatever he can to help his team win on any given night. At the moment, in six games for High-A Carolina, the 19-year old Lindor is hitting a blistering .458 (11-for-24) with 3 RBI and a league high 5 stolen bases. In his first full pro season last year at age 18 he hit .257 with 6 homers, 42 RBI, 27 stolen bases, and .707 OPS. The offense is most certainly there and continues to improve, and as Lindor matures it could really flourish. But where he really shines is with his defense. Lindor is an exceptional fielder that plays Gold Glove caliber defense. He shows great lateral quickness, outstanding instincts, good athleticism, and plus hands and feet, and has such exceptional balance and footwork with an above average arm and lightning-quick release that is very accurate. Seeing how advanced Lindor is at such a young age, the Indians plan to be aggressive with him. Lindor could be on the Major League radar sooner rather than later, so the Indians got an extended look at him with the big league club this spring during spring training. They loved what they saw. He took a step forward in spring training and really performed well, Atkins said. He went into Major League spring training games and was not at all out of his element, which was really encouraging for us to see. He didnt try to do too much and was not in awe of the environment, and he performed well. Lindor himself had a blast with the opportunity the Indians provided him and took a lot from the experience of playing in big league games for the first time, even if they were meaningless. It was awesome, Lindor said. At first, things sped up on me a little bit, but then the guys helped me and made it a lot better for me. I rolled over on a ball in one at bat and went to the dugout and the guys said dont worry about it, it will be fine. That helped me a lot having them behind me. Lindor played in ten games with the Indians this spring and hit .292 (7-for-24), which is a lot of action for such an inexperienced player. The loss of shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and middle infielder Mike Aviles to the World Baseball Classic helped provide the opportunity to get Lindor playing time, but the Indians planned all along to get him some considerable time with the big league team. Outfielder Michael Brantley really took Lindor under his wing, and the rest of the Indians players were very receptive to him. They are a great group of guys, Lindor said. They understand and know what I am going through, and they are trying to help me along the way. The experience with the big league club during spring training was but an appetizer of what the main course would be like when Lindor makes it to the big leagues someday. It was a sneak peek into what he is trying to accomplish with all of his hard work and determination. Most definitely, Lindor said. Whenever you are out there on the big league field it helps you realize this is what you are working for. It helps remind you that I am here to make it to the bigs and help the Tribe win a World Series championship. Lindor came into the new season in excellent shape. He is up ten pounds from the 175 he weighed in at last season and is now a solid 185 pounds. With the muscle he has added, he looks stronger at the plate, and the hope is it will also help prevent him from wearing down over the course of the season because of the grind and physical demands of the position he plays. With the season now barely a week old, Lindor is just focused on getting better and doing what he likes best: winning. Everything is great and awesome, Lindor said. I am enjoying every single second of this. God willing I will be a Major League shortstop and continue doing my thing. I just want to win. Thats the main goal. I want to win and I want to get better.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Browns lament ‘unacceptable’ loss to winless Jaguars

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

Hockey fights of the week

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Indians News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.