Francisco Lindor
Francisco Lindor
25-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Cleveland Indians
Injury Calf
Est. Return 3/28/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Lindor has three full seasons in the majors, and has shown linear statistical improvement in nearly every category. In each of the past three seasons, his home runs, slugging percentage and RBI have increased year over year while his runs went from repeating to surging last season. He has shown a willingness to take his walks (9.4 BB%) and he puts bat to ball with consistency (14.4 K%). Lindor, teammate Jose Ramirez, Robinson Cano, and Nolan Arenado are the only players in recent seasons with at least 35 home runs and a strikeout rate no higher than 15%. His stolen-base attempts jumped from 18 in 2017 to 35 last season, but his success rate took a dive as he was caught 10 times, which may limit his ability to join Ramirez in the 30-30 club. The tools are all here for another outstanding offensive season even if continuing the statistical linear growth looks rather impossible given the level he has already achieved before his 25th birthday. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $10.55 million contract with the Indians in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Manager looking for quick return
SSCleveland Indians
February 15, 2019
Manager Terry Francona believes Lindor (calf) could return at the front end of his 7-to-9 week recovery timetable, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
The Indians announced Lindor's right calf strain last week, putting his availability for Opening Day on March 28 in jeopardy. A seven-week recovery would finish right around that date, so it remains a tight window if the 25-year-old is to be ready for the first game of the season. Despite Francona's optimism, fantasy owners should remain wary of the All-Star shortstop's availability for early April, at least until more concrete updates on his status surface.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .877 666 93 25 70 17 .312 .370 .507
Since 2016vs Right .819 1486 234 61 189 42 .271 .339 .479
2018vs Left 1.006 201 36 9 21 7 .343 .423 .583
2018vs Right .821 544 93 29 71 18 .253 .325 .496
2017vs Left .891 244 33 11 22 6 .305 .362 .529
2017vs Right .817 479 66 22 67 9 .257 .324 .493
2016vs Left .748 221 24 5 27 4 .292 .332 .416
2016vs Right .816 463 75 10 51 15 .306 .371 .445
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
Since 2016Home .919 1061 188 42 144 27 .314 .383 .537
Since 2016Away .758 1091 139 44 115 32 .255 .316 .442
2018Home .942 360 72 20 50 10 .304 .374 .567
2018Away .804 385 57 18 42 15 .251 .331 .474
2017Home .921 353 57 16 47 8 .294 .374 .547
2017Away .769 370 42 17 42 7 .254 .302 .468
2016Home .894 348 59 6 47 9 .344 .401 .493
2016Away .692 336 40 9 31 10 .258 .314 .377
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Stat Review
How does Francisco Lindor compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Francisco Lindor
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Lindor hit more homers last season (33) than he did in his first two seasons combined (27), but impressively, he did that without selling out at the plate to add pop as he accomplished that feat with the same strikeout rate (12.9 percent K%) and walk rate (8.3 percent BB%) that he had in 2016. The difference came from an increased ability to barrel up pitches, which Lindor did in 7.2 percent of his batted-ball events (4.1 percent in 2016). Somewhat surprisingly, Lindor's HR/FB rate wasn't through the roof (14.0 percent), he simply hit the ball in the air more often, improving his flyball rate from 28.4 percent to 42.4 percent last season. The flyball increase led to the drop in batting average, but the altered approach is a net positive for the Cleveland offense and to fantasy owners. Lindor was effective again as a basestealer, going 15-for-18 despite the increased power and a slight drop in OBP. The new level looks sustainable, making Lindor a top-25 fantasy player and potential MVP candidate.
The 23-year-old has quickly emerged as one of the best hitting shortstops in the game. He has utilized a steady contact-heavy approach to work counts and post a .306/.356/.454 career slash line in 1,122 plate appearances. As evidenced by his low strikeout rate (career 14.0 percent), Lindor seemingly understands that his game is more slash and dash right now than power, but he can still turn on a pitch and yank it out of the yard when a pitcher misses his spot (27 career long balls). In addition to the double-digit home-run pop, Lindor has shown an aptitude for stealing bases, going 31-for-38 over his first two seasons and reaping the benefits of manager Terry Francona's aggressive approach on the basepaths. Throw in the fact that he is split neutral and will continue to hit high in the lineup as he continues to fill out physically, and the sky is truly the limit for Lindor. He may add another level of power to come along to accentuate the high average, good speed, and run production, though it might not happen in 2017. Still, his floor already is lofty enough to put him within the top 50 fantasy picks.
Lindor's glovework helped solidify a shaky left side of the infield upon his callup to the big leagues in early June, but that was never in question. It was his ability to handle himself at the plate as a 21-year old that made him a viable Rookie of the Year candidate and a fantasy surprise in the second half of the season. Lindor had held his own in parts of two seasons at Triple-A Columbus, slashing .284/.350/.402 while sporting a nice BB:K ratio (25:38) in 59 games in 2015, but he took it to the next level once arriving in Cleveland. He posted a remarkable .835 OPS with 22 doubles, four triples and 12 homers in just 99 games for the Tribe and got better as the season wore on. His batting average was aided by a .348 BABIP, and that number might actually be somewhat sustainable given his speed and tendency to hit the ball on the ground (50.8% GB%), but that approach does not bode well for adding more power in 2016.
Cleveland chose to keep Lindor in the minor leagues for the entire 2014 season, despite a trade deadline deal that shipped Asdrubal Cabrera out of town. The move made sense, even if it may have disappointed baseball fans who have been waiting three-plus years to see the slick-fielding shortstop. Lindor has just 180 plate appearances at Triple-A under his belt, and his .273/.307/.388 slash line may look underwhelming. However, the “better in reality than fantasy” label that seems to stick to Lindor because of his elite defense does not do him justice. He hit 11 home runs with 28 steals in 126 games between Double-A and Triple-A, and he will debut in the big leagues this season as a 21-year-old. There is plenty of projection left in his bat, and his plus hit tool and speed combination should place him at the top of a big league lineup. He projects as an above-average offensive shortstop in his prime.
Lindor had another fine season splitting time between High-A Carolina (.306/.373/.410 with 20 steals in 83 games) and Double-A Akron (.289/.407/.395 with five steals in 21 games) before having his season cut short with a back injury. His glove makes him a fantastic prospect and he's certainly got plenty of time to add some pop to his bat, but it remains to be seen how much of a fantasy impact he will have, at least in that facet of his game. A lot of his value figures to hinge on his speed and power upside. Lindor offers good, albeit not great, speed and instincts on the basepaths and his power might eventually develop, but it's possible that he will peak as a 10-homer, 20-steal player with excellent defense at a premium position, offering a bit more to the Tribe in real-life value than to fantasy owners with his rotisserie contributions.
Lindor is easily the best prospect in the Indians organization and one of the top prospects in baseball, though much of his value comes from his work with the glove. He held his own at Low-A Lake County despite being just 18 years old. He's got a mature approach at the plate which might enable him to add some power to his game as he physically matures, but his bat may never be anything overly special. His ceiling may very well be that of a 10-homer, 15-steal guy at shortstop. Expect some growing pains at High-A Kinston this season.
The Indians selected Lindor with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft, and he was limited to just five games in the New York-Penn League as a 17-year-old last summer. Despite his age, Lindor already ranks as the top prospect in Cleveland's system. The switch-hitting shortstop should be a steady contact hitter and eventually develop some pop, while his plus-arm should lead him to become an above-average defensive player down the road.
More Fantasy News
Opening Day status in question
SSCleveland Indians
February 8, 2019
Lindor sustained a right calf strain while preparing for spring training and is expected to be sidelined for 7-to-9 weeks.
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Evades arbitration
SSCleveland Indians
January 11, 2019
Lindor agreed to a one-year, $10.55 million contract with the Indians on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reports.
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Belts homer in loss
SSCleveland Indians
October 8, 2018
Lindor went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in Monday's loss to the Astros.
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Homers, steals two bases
SSCleveland Indians
September 30, 2018
Lindor went 1-for-4 with a walk, a solo home run, two stolen bases and two runs scored Sunday against the Royals.
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Blast 37th home run
SSCleveland Indians
September 26, 2018
Lindor went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and a strikeout in Wednesday's win over the White Sox.
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