CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians took their time in developing shortstop Francisco Lindor, and they are reaping the benefits of their patience during the postseason.
Through the first two games of the 2016 World Series, the 22-year old Lindor has collected 13 hits in 38 at-bats, including three doubles and two home runs with four runs scored and four RBI in matchups against the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs.
“I’m really probably the most pleased about the way he got the veterans quickly to understand that he cared about winning,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “As a young player, you can come in and be a little too loud, too quick, and they bought into him quickly because they understood he cared about winning, and then, that allowed him to have his personality show.
“I thought he really handled it very well because if you come in and try to take everybody by storm, it doesn’t necessarily always work.”
In the sweep of the Red Sox in the American League Division Series, Lindor registered three hits in 12 at-bats with one double, one home run, one run scored and an RBI.
Lindor followed that up with a stellar performance in the American League Championship Series against the Blue Jays. He collected seven hits, including another double and homer with two runs scored and three RBI in 19 trips to the plate.
“Everything’s hard,” Lindor said when asked about making things appear easy at the Major League level. “I don’t think there is anything that I can say, ‘Oh, it’s pretty easy to do.’ I think everything’s hard. You work. You work and you understand that you’re going to fail, that you’re not going to be successful every, single day, and I try to win.
“I want to win. I want to do whatever it takes to win, so I think if I take care of that mentality of 'I’m going to do whatever it takes to win,' good things are going to happen.”
Known for his ever-present smile, Lindor has the type of fun seen from players participating in the Little League World Series. And that is because Lindor embraces every opportunity to ply his craft on the top level of baseball.
“The success that I’ve had so far, I owe it to a lot of people,” Lindor said. “There’s a lot of people that have helped me throughout my career. It’s not just me. There’s a lot of people that have helped me throughout my short career, and even when I was in high school and the minor leagues.
“I just sit back, look around and see how blessed I am. The Lord has given me a lot of opportunities and blessed me throughout my career, and it’s taken a lot more work to stay up here. But I’m just thankful and appreciative, and I’m enjoying the ride. I try to be a little kid.”