Lindor Shows Advanced Maturity

Young shortstop acclimates quickly





Best Player: The Indians have been impressed with shortstop Francisco Lindor's maturity ever since they drafted him with the eighth overall pick last year out of Montverde (Fla.) Academy. The 18-year-old played just five games with short-season Mahoning Valley last season but made a big enough impression on Indians brass to make his full-season debut with low Class A Lake County.

Through 66 games with the Captains, the organization's top prospect batted .270/.359/.383 with 13 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 23 RBIs in 274 at-bats. The wiry 5-foot-11, 175-pound Lindor had made 10 errors, but he also had made a variety of sensational defensive plays that have put his strong arm and natural athleticism on display.

Biggest Leap Forward: With an increasingly realistic bid to follow in R.A. Dickey's footsteps as the next knuckleball pitcher to make an impact at the major league level, righthander Steve Wright is the Indians' minor league feel-good story halfway through the 2012 season.

The 27-year-old Wright went 6-5, 2.30 through 14 starts at Double-A Akron with 75 strikeouts and 35 walks in 82 innings. While many pitchers resort to a trick pitch out of desperation, Cleveland's 2006 second-round pick out of Hawaii has dabbled with the knuckler since he was a kid—just like Dickey. Wright began to get serious about throwing it after a demotion from Triple-A Columbus to Akron in 2010.

Biggest Disappointment: First baseman Beau Mills has struggled to live up to his first-round status since the Indians made him the 13th overall selection in 2007.

But it wasn't until another slow start—he batted .197/.239/.394 with 34 strikeouts and seven walks this season with Columbus—that the Indians ran out of patience with the 25-year-old and traded him to the Reds for cash considerations on June 21. Cincinnati assigned him to its Double-A affiliate.

WIGWAM WISPS

• After a 4-7, 5.18 start to the season in Cleveland, righthander Jeanmar Gomez was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. The Indians called up lefthander Scott Barnes to take his place.

• Columbus outfielder Russ Canzler was named the Indians minor league player of the week for June 17-24. Over that span, the 26-year old hit .348 with a double, two home runs and seven RBIs while posting a 1.116 OPS.