ESPN’s resident prospect guru has released his Top 100 list for 2012 and the Cleveland Indians have a lone representative among a list featuring names like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.
Francisco Lindor, the team’s first-round draft selection in 2011 slots in 35th overall, apparently being weighed down by the fact that he’s only 19-years of age. Per Law:
The Puerto Rican-born Lindor was one of the youngest prospects in last year’s draft, and was also one of its only true shortstops, making him a top-10 pick in a loaded class.
Lindor has four tools for certain, with power the only real question. He has very soft hands and easy actions at shortstop, with range in both directions, a plus arm, and quick feet that should also result in strong stolen base totals. At the plate, he keeps his hands inside the ball extremely well and has good hand speed, projecting to hit for average and doubles power down the road. He grew over the course of his senior year in high school and started to hit for more power with the metal bat, but is most likely a 10-15 homer guy unless he has another unexpected spurt.
Lindor plays with a ton of energy and gets good marks all around for his makeup, making him a likely candidate to jump into the top 20 after his full-season debut in 2012.
Alas, despite the Indians being labeled as having one of the worst farm systems in the majors, Lindor appears to be the one to watch as the next wave of Cleveland prospects matures and moves throughout the various levels.
In five games with Mahoning Valley (A) last season, Lindor hit .316 with two runs batted in and a stolen base. Starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz, traded last season for Ubaldo Jiménez, is ranked 45th. Right-handed pitcher Austin Adams barely missed the cut.