Highly touted Cleveland Indians prospect Francisco Lindor made his MLB debut on Sunday, and would probably like a do-over.
Making your debut in Major League Baseball can be a high-pressure situation. Doing so ranked as the fourth ranked prospect in the game and debuting in front of 36,000 fans brings with it even higher expectations. Some players rise to the occasion. Some fall all over themselves.
For Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians, he chose the latter path. Literally.
Lindor entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and promptly struck out during his first Major League at-bat. No big deal; a lot of players go down swinging daily and even those as highly touted as Kris Bryant struck out in their first at-bat. However, Lindor rose to the occasion in his second at-bat, roping a line-drive to the right field wall and was looking at a double for his first Major League hit. Unfortunately, that is where the wheels fell off.
To Lindor’s credit, he laughed it off immediately. He even tried to rally the umpire to awarding him second base, pointing towards Miguel Cabrera as though the Tigers’ first baseman impeded him on the way to second. However, he settled for first and one of the best bloopers of the 2015 MLB season.
Francisco Lindor joins Kris Bryant, Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Addison Russell in the Major Leagues, making all members of the pre-2015 MLB.com Top Prospects list to debut at the Major League level this year. At 21-years-old, Lindor is perhaps the least polished of the bunch offensively, but is considered one of the best defensive shortstops in minor league baseball. At Triple-A Columbus, Lindor was slashing .281/.348/.399 with two home runs and 22 RBI to earn the call-up.
With his debut in his back pocket, the young shortstop will now focus on helping improve an Indians team that has gotten a combined .223 batting average out of the combo of Mike Aviles and Jose Ramirez at shortstop this season. Oh, and he’ll also focus on keeping his feet underneath him as well.
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