Lindor makes lasting impression during Tribe’s endurance test
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Francisco Lindor might be in the major-league camp for Indians spring training for a couple weeks, but on Tuesday’s first day of full-squad workouts he left a pretty big impression.
Lindor won the team’s endurance test involving infielders and outfielders. He emerged out of a final group that included outfielders Tyler Naquin and Jordan Smith and fellow shortstop Erik Gonzalez.
Lindor celebrated crossing the finish line in style by sliding head-first near the orange cones.
"Every time I do something I’m trying to win," Lindor said 10 minutes afterward as he was trying to catch his breath. "It was very fun. It gets all of us together, and we get to compete against each other."
The endurance test was added by Indians strength and conditioning coach Joe Kessler as a way to measure player’s conditioning and add a little bit of a competitive aspect to the day. It is a series of sprints with a brief rest period.
Francona also lauded Kessler for coming up with the idea and reinforcing that this was testing for a baseball team and not a track squad.
"To me the most important thing is the team building concept. What I love is they got after it. I got tired watching it," Francona added. "I know you have to be in good shape but at some point it is not about how fast you are but your will to carry through. It is easy to stop and says a lot about the guys (who endured)."
Coming into his second big-league camp, Lindor appears to have added more muscle. He said he is up to 192 pounds but has only seven percent body fat.
After batting .276 with Akron and Columbus last season, Lindor took part in the Arizona Fall League and hit .265 with three homers, nine RBI and 15 runs scored in 24 games. He also played for Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Games.
"It felt good playing in the fall league. The more repetition I get the better," he said.
During spring training last year, Lindor took part in 11 games, going 6 for 19 with a home run and five RBI. Barring an abrupt change of course, Lindor will begin the year in Columbus and should be called up sometime this season. When asked what his goal is during spring training, Lindor was pretty straight-forward and said "have fun."
Lindor, who was the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft, is the consensus top-ranked player in the Indians’ organization and is anywhere from fourth to sixth overall among MLB prospects.
"One of my big goals this spring is to get to know him better. I think that’s important," Francona said. "It is not just having him here for three weeks and getting him at-bats but he is among that next group coming up."