Francisco Lindor is one of a kind.

He’s a charismatic, bona fide superstar with one hell of a smile, but the Cleveland Indians shortstop hasn’t separated himself from the MLB pack just by flashing his pearly whites and making people laugh. He’s exceptionally good at baseball, too.

Lindor offers the perfect mix of offense and defense, and as a result, he’s quickly become one of the best shortstops of his generation.

Since debuting in 2015, the 24-year-old Puerto Rican is the only player at his position in MLB who sits top three in both Offensive and Defensive Runs Above Average, according to FanGraphs.

RANK PLAYER OFF
1 Carlos Correa 84.1
2 Manny Machado 78.9
3 Francisco Lindor 71.4
RANK PLAYER DEF
1 Andrelton Simmons 79.3
2 Brandon Crawford 60.0
3 Francisco Lindor 56.7

He’s already earned a Gold Glove (2016) and Silver Slugger (2017). His current campaign with Cleveland, potentially his best yet, may put him in contention for his first MVP award.

Again, it’s thanks to his offensive and defensive prowess.

2018 Offense

PA R 2B HR RBI OPS
463 87 34 25 63 .927

2018 Defense

INN FP DRS UZR UZR/150
871 .968 +10 6.4 9.0

The diminutive Lindor has managed to produce at a herculean level alongside Goliaths like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who send baseballs into orbit.

The wiry first-round pick stands 5-foot-11 and is listed at a generous 190 pounds, yet his 85 home runs since 2015 rank second among shortstops behind only Manny Machado (who spent most of that time playing third base), while Lindor’s isolated power ranks fourth.

HR RBI SLG ISO HARD%
85 281 .491 .198 32.5%

Combine Lindor’s contributions all over the diamond and no shortstop in baseball has been more valuable than the three-time All-Star since 2015. It’s not like he’s competing with scrubs, either.

RANK PLAYER fWAR
1 Francisco Lindor 21.0
2 Manny Machado 19.2
3 Carlos Correa 16.0
4 Xander Bogaerts 15.9
5 Corey Seager 14.9

If these numbers illustrate anything, it’s that Lindor is a rare breed – a special talent who doesn’t conform to the general rule that you can only be elite at one thing. There is no player quite like him in the game today.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

Menu