Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 5/15/14
The slick-fielding Lindor will be a set-and-forget player in dynasty leagues once he’s called up (Photo: www.waitingfornextyear.com) At the end of 2013, Francisco Lindor earned a promotion to the AA Akron Aeros. The transition from A+ was smooth sailing, but then something unexpected happened. This year when Lindor came back to Akron for his AA assignment he was no longer an Aero but now a RubberDuck. That’s right Akron changed the name of the team to the RubberDucks in the offseason to honor the rubber industry that once thrived in Akron, Ohio. Despite the name change Lindor continues to thrive and his success may cause the Indians to go duck hunting for some shortstop help later in the year. The Tools Lindor is a fantastic shortstop and a surefire bet to stay there throughout his career. At just 20 years old Lindor has progressed rapidly through the minors, never being truly challenged defensively along the way. His arm and range at the position are matched only by his stellar instincts and baseball IQ. This advanced defensive profile gave Lindor more time to focus on the part of his game that some scouts were skeptical may never show up: his hitting. Year Level HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG BB% K% 2011 A- 0 2 1 .316 .350 .316 5.0 25.0 2012 A 6 42 28 .257 .352 .355 10.8 13.8 2013 A+ 1 27 20 .306 .373 .410 9.4 10.5 2013 AA 1 7 5 .289 .407 .395 15.4 7.7 2014 AA 4 27 9 .297 .364 .464 9.0 16.1 At 5’11 and a very light 175 lbs, a lot of what makes Lindor such an impressive defensive player is what gives scouts pause, most notably his lack of strength. While no one would consider him as slight as a Billy Hamilton, there was some worry that he would become a defense-only player with a pretty empty average. That hasn’t been the case and we have seen his slugging percentage rise at nearly every level. Lindor will never be a true power hitter, but we are now seeing glimpses of a player capable of 10+ HR to go along with a very respectable average. Jake’s Take You could make an argument that every top shortstop prospect in the game, aside from Addison Russell, comes with the caveat, “Yeah, but will he stay at short?”. There is a lot to be said for being able to plan for position, especially in dynasty formats, which most mimic real life. Lindor has the look of an ace defensive player that will stick there for his whole career. That’s great you might say, “But what will he do for me in fantasy?” The picture isn’t crystal clear, but it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where Lindor develops into a .300 BA player with 10+ HR and 20+ SB. Those numbers aren’t spectacular, but that’s better than what Alexei Ramirez gave us last year and that was good enough for 6th-best at shortstop in ESPN leagues. Being a switch hitter, Lindor has shown that he can succeed on both sides of the plate. Last year he was excellent as a lefty vs RHP, batting .324, but he suffered as a righty vs LHP, batting just .237. This year as a righty vs LHP he’s batting a stellar .360! Conclusion As prospects go, Lindor is about as safe as they get. He will never be a top 10 fantasy player as he may be in real life, but he will be consistent. If you’re not lucky enough to have any of the four big guns — Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, or Russell — in your dynasty league, Lindor is a great fallback option. You can put him there when he arrives and forget about the position for as long as you own your team. Shortstop can often be a black hole on fantasy rosters and having a sure thing like Lindor is a pretty nice luxury. Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for Fantasy Baseball 1. Carlos Correa, SS, HOU (Last Week: 2) Will someone put this guy in AA already? On May 10, Correa had his best game at the level going 5-for-6 with 6 RBI. Yeah, he doesn’t have any HR over the past 10 days but at his size the surge is coming. Last 10 days: .341/.370/.432, 0 HR, 12 RBI, 2SB 2. Byron Buxton, OF, MIN (LW: 1) Buxton continues to have really bad luck since he blew up the prospect world with his performance in 2013. Buxton could still be the best player on this list, and it’s not even close, but with his second wrist issue of the year his timeline and power development may be delayed. 3. Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT (LW: 3)  Pittsburg continues to lose games and Polanco continues to toil away at a level he’s too good for. Can the Super Two deadline just pass already? Last 10 days: .359/.457/.667, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB 4. Oscar Taveras, OF, STL (LW: 4) Just stay healthy and you can probably follow Polanco to the majors after the annoying Super Two deadline. Last 10 days: .293/.333/.488, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 0 SB 5. Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC (LW: 6) More movement up the list from Bryant, and this has everything to do with him being a monster at the plate. With 5 HR in his last 10 games, the baseball looks as big as a cantaloupe right now. A promotion to AAA should come soon. Last 10 days: .375/.432/.775, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 0 SB 6. Javier Baez, SS, CHC (LW: 5) Things continue to get worse for Baez and he has finally dropped behind fellow Cubs prospect Bryant. I know AAA pitching is slightly more advanced, but it’s not nearly as good as Baez is making it look by batting .147 on the year. Last 10 days: .100/.182/.100, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB 7. Archie Bradley, SP, ARI (LW: 7) Bradley has still yet to pick up a ball since going on the DL with elbow pain. Here’s to hoping it’s not serious and we get to see the stellar young arm in the bigs this year. 8. Addison Russell, SS, OAK (LW: 8) Nothing to see here folks, move along. The future All-Star is undergoing repairs. 9. Mookie Betts, 2B, BOS (LW: 10) I swear you didn’t do anything wrong, Heaney! Mookie Betts is just this good! Betts has proven to be the best and most surprising player in the minors so far and it’s not remotely close. Last 10 days: .341/.438/.463, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 SB 10. Andrew Heaney, SP, MIA (LW: 9) Bad news for Fernandez could mean good news for Heaney owners — his time is coming. It’s sad to see his timeline pushed up at the expense of one of the game’s best young players. Last 10 starts: 46 IP, 2.35 ERA, 44 K
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