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Francisco Lindor

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Francisco Miguel Lindor

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[edit] Biographical Information

Francisco Lindor was the first high school infielder drafted in 2011.

Born in Puerto Rico, Lindor moved to the USA when he was 12 years old with his family's goal of getting a chance for Lindor to play baseball professionally. He did not speak English when he came to Florida. In the 2009 World Youth Championship, Francisco had 3 hits and 3 RBI in the semifinal win over Mexico for Team USA. In the Gold Medal game, he rapped three more hits and scored the final run in a 7-6 victory over Cuba. He was named as the All-Star shortstop for the event, having hit .556/.618/.963, stolen four bases, scored 17 runs and driven in 13. He finished fourth in the event in average, second in runs (one behind teammate JoMarcos Woods) and tied Reinaldo Almora for fourth in RBI.

In 2010, Lindor won the home run contest during the Aflac All-American Game. In the 2010 World Junior Championship, he batted .481/.563/.741 with 10 runs in 7 games. He was one of two Americans picked for the tourney All-Star team; outfielder Michael Lorenzen was the other. He finished fourth in average (behind Tzu-Wei Lin, Lorenzen and Alexander Calbick), 6th in OBP, tied for 5th in slugging (with Guillermo Aviles and Blake Swihart), tied for second in runs (with Aviles and Tony Wolters, behind Lin), tied Lorenzen for second in hits (behind Lin), tied for the most doubles (4) and tied for the most times plunked (4).

As a high school senior in 2011, Lindor hit .528 and slugged over 1.00. He stole 20 bases in 21 tries. He was picked 8th in the 2011 amateur draft, taken by the Cleveland Indians. He was the second high school position player chosen (after Bubba Starling) and the second infielder (after Anthony Rendon). He was signed by scout Mike Soper at the August 15 deadline for $2.9 million and made his pro debut with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on August 28th, hitting .316 in 5 games with the club that year.

He played the 2012 season with the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League, hitting .257 in 122 games, all at shortstop. In 2013, he moved up to the Carolina Mudcats to start the year, where he hit .306 in 23 games. The Indians moved him up to AA and the Akron Aeros of the Eastern League for a month starting in mid-July and he hit .289 in 29 games. Altogether, his batting line was .303/.380/.407 in 104 games, with 65 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. In 2014, he was back in AA, with the team now renamed the Akron RubberDucks, and he hit .278 in 88 games to earn a mid-season promotion once again, this time to the AAA Columbus Clippers. He ,273 in 38 games for Columbus, for a total line of .276/.338/.389 in 126 games, with 11 homers, 75 runs scored and 62 RBIs at the age of 20. The question was now whether he would break camp with the Indians in 2015, but they decided to give him a little more experience at Columbus. There was little doubt that his big league debut would come sooner rather than later, as he had already been named three times to take part in the Futures Game for the World team, in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He played 58 games for the Clippers, hitting .281, before getting the call to Cleveland in mid-June.

Lindor made his debut for the Indians on June 14th, in a game against the Detroit Tigers. He came in as a pinch-hitter for DH David Murphy in the 7th and struck out against Blaine Hardy. He came up again in the 9th and hit a single to right against Joakim Soria, then promptly fell on his face as he tripped rounding the first base bag. It was embarrassing, but he was able to get up and return to first base without being tagged out, although he did not matter much as Cleveland was in the final stages of an 8-1 loss. That same day, his AAA club, Columbus, resumed a suspended game in which he had played, so he was listed in two boxscores in two different cities, going a combined 2 for 4. He quickly established himself as the team's starting shortstop, impressing observers both with his bat and his glove. On August 23rd, he became the first batter to homer from the left side off New York Yankees relief ace Dellin Betances, his blast giving Cleveland a 4-3 win. Betances had faced 302 lefty batters without surrendering a home run until then.

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