Lindor Just 'One Of The Guys'

Shortstop sticks out for maturity





CLEVELAND—When low Class A Lake County manager Dave Wallace was still a catcher in the Indians system, he played with his share of bonus babies.

It was easy to spot those talented, young players who were selected early in the draft and flaunted their newfound wealth with flashy jewelry and expensive cars.
That's why Wallace, now a second-year manager in his first year with the Captains, wasn't sure what to expect when he learned Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor would be his shortstop.

It didn't take long for Wallace to realize that Lindor, the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft, was different.

"The first day he showed up in (short-season) Mahoning Valley last year after he signed, he's helping load laundry on and off the bus and carrying equipment bags," he said. "I'm like, 'Wait a minute, this is rare for a guy just drafted and signed in the first round.' Many of those guys have a sense of entitlement, that 'I'm different than you' mentality. But not Francisco, he's just one of the guys."

A solid work ethic isn't the only thing that sets the 18-year-old Lindor apart. A mature approach to the game has also been on display during his first full professional season.

Lindor was 12 when he came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico to attend a private school outside of Orlando. Although he didn't speak English, he was determined to make his dream of playing professional baseball a reality.

Lindor was the youngest player at the Futures Game in July and has been among the youngest players in the Midwest League all season. That's why the Indians aren't worried about his .263/.357/.371 line. He has connected for 29 extra-base hits and posted an impressive 63-52 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

"He's continuing to work on plate discipline," Wallace said. "He wants to get the job done and help the team win so bad, that sometimes it leads to him chasing balls out of the zone and being a little too aggressive."

WIGWAM WISPS

• Righthander Juan Nivar was suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He was pitching in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League.

• The Tribe claimed righthander Fabio Martinez off waivers from the Angels. Martinez, 22, was 0-5,10.72 in eight starts at high Class A Inland Empire.