Indians Minor League Manager David Wallace Discusses Top Shortstop Prospect Francisco Lindor
On Lindor’s work ethic: “I had to get on him one time this year, because he came looking for me one time wanting to take some extra ground balls and he couldn’t find me. His natural reaction is just to grab the next guy he can find to go hit him some ground balls, so he actually grabbed our strength coach, and they went out on the field and hit some ground balls. It’s not the worst thing — it’s a good problem to have — we just wanted to make sure he was working with one of the [coaching] staff members. But that’s just the guy he is. He’s always looking to improve and get better and we couldn’t be more excited about his future as an Indian.”
On how Lindor’s leadership manifests itself in games: “It’s just feel for situations. He has a great feel for when to go to the mound and give the pitcher a little breather. A little pep talk, maybe even a little challenge. What is great is that he’s fluent in English and Spanish, so he was able to communicate with some, especially in A-ball, really young Latin guys that don’t speak very much English yet. Myself and the English-speaking infielders, there is an international language of encouragement — ‘Hey, here we go,’ everyone understands that — but Francisco was able to help them out in certain situations. And just the way he carries himself. Even after he’d make a mistake or an error, you don’t see him hang his head. He looks at the pitcher and usually says, ‘Give me another chance. I’ll make the next one.’ He just exudes confidence, and that wears off on the rest of team. Outside of physical tools, his leadership out there is exactly what you want in your shortstop.”<p>
On Lindor’s grace playing short: “That’s one of his best attributes, that he’s got style out there but he’s very fundamental as well. Sometimes you get guys who are very talented and real flashy, but they’re not really fundamental or dependable out there. He is very fundamental in his work but also has his own style in the way he moves and makes plays out there.”
On what Lindor can improve upon: “The impressive thing about Francisco is he is always seeking to improve. He is always asking questions, what he can do better. Some of the things he worked through this year was just some basic positioning stuff that he wasn’t used to coming out of high school and that internal clock of when to get rid of the ball. He’s used to guys taking 5 1/2, sometimes 6 seconds to get down first base, and now guys are getting down there in 4-flat. That was an easy adjustment for him, and he’ll continue to work on that. And then just being as fundamental as he can be out there.
“He learn to read certain situations and pay attention to the catcher and read the signs and how we are attacking certain hitters, where their holes are and where he can position himself … where the ball might go. [But] in low-A ball, how we’re attacking hitters, all that — that doesn’t get into much detail. You’re kind of asking him to do something where, half the time [your pitcher] is trying to go in[side] on a [hitter] and miss out over the plate. As he moves up and advances, he’ll be able to see this more and get a better understanding of it. All we care about is that he continues to work the way he does, and he’ll be just fine.”
On Lindor, the young man: “You not going to hear a bad word about him. He’s a special person as well as a special player, and we’re happy to have him on our team. You can tell he’s been raised the right way and is respectful. For someone as talented and as gifted as he is, that’s something you don’t see that very much when you talk to guys who think the world revolves around them.”