You will not find many better than Francisco Lindor, especially at the shortstop position. Lindor is an easy top ten pick once again, as he brings a good mix of power and speed to the table. He is also in a solid Cleveland Indians offense that has Jose Ramirez and a few new bats that will help out. Lindor ranks as the number one shortstop and is one of a few that are in their own tier. There were talks of Lindor leaving Cleveland due to a trade, but those rumors have cooled off quite a bit. For the meantime he will be on a team trying to contend in a wide open AL Central. He is 26 years old, and has been extremely consistent since entering the majors back in 2015 when he was just 21.
Last Three Years Stats
No other shortstop over the last three years has hit more home runs than Francisco Lindor (103). He is also third in stolen bases behind Jonathan Villar and Trea Turner. He is fifth in on-base percentage, and third in slugging. Lindor has scored 329 runs over the past three years, and among shortstops, Xander Bogaerts is second with 276. He is a producer in all categories, and it is hard to find someone as consistent as Lindor over the past few seasons. He has topped 20 stolen bases in two of the three years, consistently hits over .270, and has 30+ home runs in each season. Lindor has hit lead off so those RBI numbers won’t go too much higher unless he was moved to second.
2020 Fantasy Projections
ZiPS is a big fan of Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, the top of Cleveland’s rotation, and the bullpen, but not so much of a hodgepodge outfield that may be one of the worst in the majors. Check out @DSzymborski‘s projections for the 2020 Indians. https://t.co/qzCI1hScSU
— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) February 6, 2020
Projections have Francisco Lindor taking a major bump in average this season, which is still in his range of outcomes. He projects for about 30 home runs again, and a tick up in RBI. Stolen base projections are always a bit on the lower side across the board. He should cross the 20 mark, but hard to see him stretching for past 25 and getting closer to that 30 range. With a stronger group behind him, and hopefully Jose Ramirez can have a better first half than last year. He will produce a ton of runs, and projections are a bit soft, but 100+ is going to be the mark he likely hits.
As like many of the top ten picks, you are getting a very safe floor barring any sort of injury. Lindor has been quite durable as well during his career. He is a strong contact bat, and it is hard to see him having any sort of drop off in the average department. His average floor is .270. Home runs have been consistent, and the 27-28 range is where I would look as a floor in a full season. Anything less, something is up because he has sneaky good power for his size. His RBI floor is about what it was last season at 74, and stolen bases would be 15-16. Now hitting these floor numbers as a whole would not be great for his fantasy value just because shortstop is a deep position with plenty of names being able to match/surpass these types of floor numbers.
2018 is a season we can point to as his ceiling, but there is another level I believe. For one the average can go up, and so can his RBI from last season. There likely isn’t going to be another level for him in the stolen base department. 40+ home runs is certainly in his range of outcomes as well. Some of that will depend on what ball is going to be used by the MLB. More positive luck in the BABIP department, and Lindor is going to see a tick up in average. He has a had a .291, .279, and .275 BABIP over the last two seasons.
Francisco Lindor is going right around the 7-8th pick overall. The issue I have is that there are so many shortstops that produce near similar stats. With names like Gleyber Torres, Xander Bogaerts, and Javier Baez going 30-40 range, I could easily make the case for passing on Lindor for a different option and grabbing a name later. Ketel Marte is going in the 40-45 range too, who brings power and speed. The same can be said with Lindor in auction leagues, where I am going to be looking to save some cash and nab one of those names instead. While Lindor is a safe first round pick, he won’t be my first choice at this range.
Cleveland Indians Offense
The Indians offense dropped a little bit last season, averaging the fourth most runs per game in 2018, moving to 15th. The projected lineup has Lindor leading off with Oscar Mercado, Carlos Santana, and Jose Ramirez following. Big Franmil Reyes is also hitting 5th, who has big upside in the power department. This offense should be very fantasy friendly, although the upside is higher if Lindor was to hit second. Progressive Field is a slightly above average hitters park, which also plays well to left-handed hitters. Lindor is a switch hitter, but spends a majority of his at-bats from the left side.
As mentioned above there is room for growth for his average, and he has had a higher xBA in comparison to what he has produced. He has bene on par with his slugging numbers. The hard-contact has been on the rise, and we have hit a bit of a plateau, which is fine when it is over 40%. Lindor ranked 55th in average exit velocity back in 2019, and was 57th in 2018. He has ranked top 60 in barrels over the last three seasons. Overall Lindor is one of the more talented hitters in baseball, and one of these years the average is going to take a strong increase.
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet
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- MLB Closer Depth Chart
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