Lindor recorded his first career hit in the 9th Inning of the 8-1 blowout, but was so excited that he overran first base completely.
At the time, the Puerto Rican native was one of the highest prospects in all of baseball. BaseballProspectus and MLB rated Lindor as the No. 4 overall prospect coming into the 2015 season, and he more than validated that ranking in his rookie campaign. After being called up from Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate in the middle of the season, Lindor played 99 games and boasted a .313/.353/.482 slash line. He finished second in voting for the American League Rookie of the Year, just behind Houston's Carlos Correa.
Watching his play was an exciting bright spot for a Cleveland squad that finished one game over .500 last season. Their offense just couldn't put runs on the scoreboard, finishing 11th in the AL in runs scored and 13th in combined home runs. This year, the Indians have the 6th best scoring offense in the AL. Their home run production has seen a significant spike, already eclipsing the half way marker from last season.
The Indians are now contending for the AL Central title alongside the 2015 World Series winning Kansas City Royals, and Lindor's strong sophomore campaign that's leading the charge.
He's first in hits (77), tied for second in RBI's (33) and has the highest OPS of any regular starter. He's shouldered the weight of Cleveland's offense, and is still the 6th youngest player in the majors. Granted, the offeseason addition of Mike Napoli has done wonders for the Tribe, but Lindor's growth is particularly exciting because he's Cleveland's top prospect that they will hope to turn into a franchise player.
Since coming into the league, Lindor has consistently lived up to his billing as the 8th overall pick in the 2011 draft. But the context between this year and last year is completely different. Lindor was once the promising prospect on a slightly above-average Indians team, but is now the rising star on a team looking to earn their first division title since 2007.null