April 17, 2014

MLB News: Francisco Lindor jumps to MLB.com’s 5th-best prospect

Cleveland Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor jumped to the No. 5 spot in MLB.com’s latest prospect rankings re-released today.

In the preseason rankings, MLB.com’s staff — as led by prospect writer extraordinaire Jonathan Mayo — pegged the 19-year-old Lindor as the No. 14 prospect in the game. Because of a variety of promotions and injuries, plus Lindor’s outstanding success in 2013, he’s jumped nine spots closer to the top of the list.

Just two weeks ago, following the MLB Futures Game, Lindor received the promotion to the Double-A Akron Aeros. He had been hitting .306/.373/.410 in 83 games for the High-A Carolina Mudcats, showcasing elite contact, patience at the plate and poise for his age. He’s done even better since the promotion.

In his first 10 games for the Aeros, Lindor is batting .441/.578/.647 with 10 walks against just one strikeout. Again, for the record, he has 15 hits and 10 walks in the 45 toughest plate appearances in his life. He also has five steals, two doubles and cracked his first home run with the team on Thursday night at Canal Park.

Back in mid-May, there had been some murmurs distributed by Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan that Lindor could jump to being the No. 1 prospect in baseball by the end of 2013. While he still is characterized as having a lower ceiling than elite prospects like Minnesota’s Byron Buxton or St. Louis’ Oscar Taveras, such an idea is no longer a crazy concept.

Rounding out the Indians in the MLB.com prospect rankings, 22-year-old right-hander Trevor Bauer fell to No. 42 and recent 18-year-old outfield draft pick Clint Frazier joins the ranks at No. 56. Then, 18-year-old shortstop Dorssys Paulino and 22-year-old outfielder Tyler Naquin conclude the organizational top five.

[Related: Tribe notes as we head into the weekend]

  • Patrick Elder

    I smell an Asdrubal trade cooking.

  • co811809

    No Salazar?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Wouldn’t upset me in the slightest although I can’t imagine Lindor jumping two more levels. That being said I’d love Lindor to continue hitting to force the Indians to do something with him even if it’s just a promotion to Columbus.

  • JacobWFNY

    He jumped up to No. 6 in the system. Conservatively, that seems about right still. I’d maybe have him at No. 5, replacing Naquin, but still behind Frazier. But that’s the appropriate range still.

    MLB.com actually didn’t have Salazar in their top-20 for the Indians before the season: http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/2013/03/an-early-look-at-cleveland-indians-prospect-rankings/

  • bupalos

    Any smaller market team really has to keep prospects stashed in the minors as long as possible. You only get 3 years of below market value MLB service, you want to make sure those years aren’t wasted on development. Moving a 19 year old up early just doesn’t make good market sense.

    I do wonder if it’s possible to go to a player and say we’ll move you up if you agree to sign a long term deal now, like 7 years @ 5MM

  • JacobWFNY

    That’s what the deal was with Evan Longoria in early 2008: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/content/rays-longoria-reach-deal-9-years-44-million

  • JacobWFNY

    I still maintain that no matter how well Lindor does (and I said this pre-Akron), that he won’t sniff the majors until early-to-mid June 2014. By then, the Indians will have delayed his Super 2 status. He could just be a September call-up next year. But he won’t touch the majors until at least the Super 2 deadline.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Sigh I know but I can dream can’t I? Best answer is for Cabrera to start hitting otherwise his defense will continue to stick out like a sore thumb.

  • bupalos

    Thanks for that. I’m somewhat surprised it hasn’t become more of a trend. Obviously it looks now like Longoria lost somewhat on that deal, as his arb salary in 11-13 would be sigificantly higher I’d think. But if the Rays brought him up a year earlier because of it, then it might have been a win/win or at least no loss for him.

    With Lindor’s solid defense and his incredible ability to walk or make contact, I’d say he is virtually bust proof. I’d do a longoria type deal ASAP, maybe with a little less escalation and a little more guaranteed. Trade Dru and go ahead and bring him up in September. Lower market teams should monetize the ability to fast-track a prospect’s career. That’s something that could help level the playing field a little.