The Cleveland Indians have promoted shortstop Francisco Lindor to the Major Leagues, they announced yesterday.
Cleveland is following the trend in promoting their top prospects to the Major Leagues, as Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton have both been brought up in the last week. The Indians need all the help they can get in the left side of their infield.
The Indians' starting shortstop, Jose Ramirez, is not even in the big leagues anymore, as he posted a .487 OPS (38 OPS+) in the 170 plate appearances that the team gave him.
In Ramirez's place, the team has played Mike Aviles at short, but he hasn't been stellar, hitting to a .736 OPS (106 OPS+) in 134 plate appearances. With perhaps the second-best shortstop prospect in the minors (behind Correa), the Indians felt the pressure to bring Lindor to the big leagues.
Prior to the season, Lindor was a consensus top-10 prospect amongst the rankings from Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus, with MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus having him the highest at No. 4. He was picked by the Indians with the 8th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft out of a Florida High School.
At 21-years-old, Lindor is an average 5.9 years younger than his counterparts in the Triple-A International League, and still managed to hit for a .279/.346/.398/.745 line with two homers and 22 runs batted in over 259 plate appearances.
Here's the scouting report on Lindor from MLB.com:
Lindor is an elite defensive shortstop, considered by many scouts to be the best defender in the Minor Leagues. He makes difficult plays seem routine thanks to his strong arm, impressive range and flashy glove work. At the plate, Lindor consistently squares balls up and hits line drives to all fields. Power isn't a big part of his game, but he has the feel for hitting and the stength to drive balls out when given the opportunity."
With the Indians currently in 4th place in the AL Central, they can only hope that Lindor can change their current fortunes.