Hunter Pence: Mets' Francisco Lindor is best SS in MLB
New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) throws the ball into the stands in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.  Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter Pence: Mets' Francisco Lindor is best shortstop in MLB

The New York Mets made arguably the biggest splash of this past MLB offseason when they acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in a January trade with the Cleveland Indians. 

Former MLB player Hunter Pence, himself a four-time All-Star who earned two World Series rings during his 14-year career, explained on a recent edition of Team Whistle's "Player's Breakdown" sponsored by Oakley why he believes Lindor is the league's best player at his position.

Pence broke down Lindor's sweet swing from either side of the plate and also his defensive range in the field, but he also noted the leadership qualities the 27-year-old brought to the Mets from his first day with the franchise that were previously touched upon by Anthony DiComo of the official MLB website. 

"One of the things that impresses me the most is the way he carries himself and the leadership I feel from him, and that's what I'm most excited about watching him on the Mets," Pence explained. "I would equate it to Mookie Betts (joining) the (Los Angeles) Dodgers. 

"It impacts a clubhouse in a major way. When your superstar is in there working out, in there in the (batting) cages, doing the little things right. When you do the little things right, it sends a message to everyone that 'if Lindor is doing it right, I better do it right.'"

Lindor won two Gold Glove Awards during his Cleveland tenure, and Pence discussed how New York's new face of baseball prepares to make highlight-reel plays even before the first pitch is thrown on gameday.  

"Before the game begins, just watching him warm-up, it is a thing of beauty. It is poetry in motion just watching this guy warm-up," Pence said. "And then when the game starts, and it gets sped up, his defensive footwork, defensive glove, and hand-eye coordination is so smooth. He makes the toughest plays look easy." 

Like many of his new teammates, Lindor has started the campaign a bit cold at the plate and was only batting .189 across his first 11 regular-season games. It's a safe bet Pence wouldn't be too concerned. 

"Pressure is all perspective," he added about Lindor. "Everyone everywhere has pressure. Even in a Little League game to the big leagues. It's all perspective. 

"He's such a professional and he's such a leader. In New York, this is a big city. It's a challenge. But I know the work that he puts in and the ability that he has. I think him and the Mets is gonna be a win-win for baseball, the Mets, and for Lindor and his family."

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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