Cleveland Indians prized shortstop prospect, Francisco Lindor, just wrapped up an impressive April hitting .341, with a home run, 10 RBI, seven stolen bases and .911 OPS in 24 games.
That is about as impressive a showing a top prospect can have, making his High-A debut and as one of the youngest players in the league at 19 years of age. Then again, nothing he does should come as a surprise, because he is that talented and barring injury he is on the road to future stardom in the major leagues.
His agent, David Meter, has known him since he was a sophomore in high school. In the first game he saw Lindor hit a home run over the right center field fence in his first at bat. Lindor showed Meter the talent that night, and soon after he came to know Lindor’s exceptional work ethic and maturity.
“He possesses the common thread as all of our clients do with the will and drive to be the best,” Meter said. “He is always very positive, has a great attitude, and what you see on the field is a carryover from the way he is in life. He is happy, he is hard working, and possesses a very positive attitude and outlook.”
Lindor has the tools to be a perennial Gold Glove winner at shortstop and he should eventually settle into a threat to steal 25-30 bases. He has the goods as a switch hitter to make consistent contact in the first or second spot in the order.
Lindor set records with agility tests conducted by the Indians. Meter and his staff clocked a line drive off his bat at 108 MPH, which is the highest velocity they have seen so far.
“What he is focused on is to continue to get better every day,” Meter said. “That is his goal every day is to get better than he was the day before.”
Meter has several clients and tries to get to as many games as possible. Even when he is unable to see Lindor, he has developed a close relationship and is a phone call away.
“It is really kind of a constant contact and it works both ways,” Meter responded when asked how he keeps in touch with his players. “As it pertains to Francisco, we have a very close relationship. He calls me, I call him, and we text. I will see him several times throughout the summer. Anything comes up and it is not always about baseball as sometimes it is about daily life stuff.”
While Lindor is carving up pitchers and having success on the field, it is the off-field experience where an agent can assist.
“In season at the beginning of the year you help them get settled into a new city, so you are trying to make that transition as seamless as possible,” Meter said. “And really, just with the start of any year, just making sure he is mentally and physically ready for the long season ahead.”
“As we do with all of our players, it’s just letting him know that we are there for him and whatever pops up that we can take care of it and help him with it and do what we can to facilitate that so that he can stay focused on the field,” Meter said.
The Indians are in no hurry to push Lindor up to the big leagues. Asdrubal Cabrera is locked at shortstop through 2014 and backup Mike Aviles is available through 2015. They want to be sure he is ready to make the transition, which probably will happen in late 2014 or 2015.
When Lindor arrives in Cleveland, he’ll be well versed in the town’s sports history and looks forward to ending the championship dry spell.
“He is familiar with the history of Cleveland sports and what a great sports town it is,” Meter said. “He is looking forward to helping in any way he can to bring a World Series Championship to Cleveland in the future. That’s ultimately what drives him every day.”