Francisco Lindor has not been the prolific on-base threat he was during his first two seasons in the majors, but the Cleveland Indians shortstop has built on the power dimension of his game this season.
And it’s likely going to lead to him holding a relevant franchise record.
During the Indians-New York Yankees doubleheader on Tuesday, Lindor hit his 25th home run. Far and away a career high despite the calendar still reading August, Lindor also tied the Tribe’s single-season franchise record for home runs by a shortstop. Asdrubal Cabrera hit 25 in 2011 — his fifth MLB season.
The 23-year-old Lindor clubbed his record-tying home run off Yankees reliever Caleb Smith in the eighth inning of Cleveland’s likely doubleheader sweep at Yankee Stadium. The Indians beat the Yankees 2-1 in the contending clubs’ first Wednesday tilt and again in the second game by a score of 9-4. Lindor combined for four hits in the twinbill.
Lindor is late in his third MLB campaign and already has two All-Star distinctions, matching Cabrera — who is now with the New York Mets and in his 11th season. He also entered an arbitrary, yet prestigious, club with the 25th blast, joining some of the game’s modern-era greats.
25th HR for Lindor puts him in some halfway decent company.. just a few of the greatest hitting SS of all-time. No big deal. pic.twitter.com/ABbRvjQ9FY
— Ryan McCrystal (@TribeFanMcC) August 30, 2017
The former top prospect now has more than a month to hit No. 26 and is a relatively safe bet for 30 home runs in his age-23 season. It’s unlikely Lindor will see his batting average creep to north of .300 for the third straight year — he’s at .271 — but the Puerto Rican talent is slugging .477.
Leading off for the surging Indians, Lindor has helped the defending American League champions move into position to challenge the Houston Astros for home-field advantage. Cleveland trails Houston by four games in the AL and is a half-game in front of the Boston Red Sox for the No. 2 spot.