Open the door, get on the floor. Everybody walk the F. Lindor. Boom boom acka-lacka lacka boom. Boom boom acka-lacka boom boom. I can’t remember when the shortstop position was this deep. And by deep I mean you have more options than Troy Tulowitzki, who was all but guaranteed to be injured yet still outscore the field, and Jose Reyes who relied heavily on his legs to get him points. I guess there were a few years where Jimmy Rollins was a strong play at the position, but regularly there was just one, maybe two, studs at shortstop. The landscape looks quite different in 2016.
First I believe I owe many of you an apology. I admit it, I bought into the overhype of Carlos Correa. And as a result, I had labeled him a first round pick for this year’s drafts. Given his pedigree and 2015 performance it seemed like the logical conclusion. I realize that hindsight is 20/20, but Carlos Correa is not a first round pick. At the moment, he is barely a top ten shortstop. Even Aledmys Diaz (265) and Jean Segura (239), two players likely undrafted in most leagues, have more points than Correa (238).
Coming into this year there were a handful of names at shortstop that were expected to make up the tier right below Correa. This list included Tulowitzki, Xander Bogaerts, Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor. Average draft position accurately reflects these rankings. But that’s like because the rankings directly affected average draft position. Causality and causation, or something like that. Correa had an ADP of 8, while Tulo was at 49, Bogaerts 58, Seager 65 and Lindor 73. All of these players, except Tulo, have more points than Correa. Even if Correa were leading in points, he still wouldn’t be a first round pick. There is just too much depth at shortstop. Likely these other guys will be drafted sooner next year than they were this year, but why waste a first round pick on Correa when you can get Lindor in the 4th round and nearly the same production. Potentially more. And let’s not forget Manny Machado who now has SS eligibility. Or how about Ian Desmond who is on pace for 30 home runs and 26 stolen bases. If any SS is a first round pick it’s Machado. Hands down. Or up. Whichever you prefer.
Ignoring Machado, since he was not a draft day shortstop, any guesses which shortstop leads standard points leagues in points? If you guessed Cal Ripken then you are likely still having side effects from that triple hit of acid you did twenty something years ago at that Tear For Fears concert. Actually the answer keeps changing from day to day. Francisco Lindor and Xander Bogaerts keep flip flopping. When I started writing this post (Wednesday), Lindor was the top stop with 278 points. That’s 40 points more than Correa, making him north Correa in the points standings.
Even though Francisco doesn’t lead shortstops in any offensive categories he still finds himself with more points than every other shortstop. On pace for a 20/20 season with over 100 runs scored, 80-something RBIs and a .299 batting average, Lindor is proving to be the complete package. I own Lindor in every points league I’m in. In one auction-based league I paid a combined $34 for both Lindor and Bogaerts. In that same auction Correa sold for $40!
The home runs might be a bit surprising considering Lindor only hit a homer every 89 plate appearances during his five seasons in the minors, but in 438 plate appearances in 99 games in the Majors last year he hit 12 home runs. So far in 99 games this season he once again has 12 home runs in 410 at bats. I’m thinking the power is real. And he’s only 22 years young. As for the stolen bases, no one should be surprised. He average between 25-28 in the minor leagues and in 99 games last season had 12. In 99 games this season he has 13. Francisco Lindor is a legit 20/20 player at the Major League level. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
Shortstop Points Leaders
Manny Machado – 279
Francisco Lindor – 278
Xander Bogaerts – 277
Ian Desmond – 273
Aledmys Diaz – 265
Corey Seager – 250
Jean Segura – 239
Carlos Correa – 238
Eduardo Nuñez – 228
Brandon Crawford – 221
Trevor Story – 217
Elvis Andrus – 210
Jonathan Villar – 190
Troy Tulowitzki – 162
My how the Trevor-ending story has quieted.
While many have already written the Cubs into the World Series, I don’t think they are going to get there. Instead I see the Giants making their fourth appearance in seven years. If you believe in patterns then it’s already happened. The Giants have made it to, and won, the World Series every even year since 2010. Their opponents? The Cleveland Indians who haven’t attended the big dance since 1997 when they lost to Livan Hernandez and the Florida Marlins. This year, however, I think Francisco Lindor and the rest of “the tribe” have a good shot at winning. I can just see Terry Francona bringing in Ricky Vaughn from the bullpen to strikeout Buster Posey on three straight heaters. After all, besides Sheenoji and some new condom ad, what does Charlie sheen have going on anyway. Then Francisco Lindor scores from second base on a Tyler Naquin bunt to win game 6. Rajai Davis is probably the better candidate to score from second, but Lindor is man of this post so he gets the headline.
Bottom line, I think it’s about time Francisco Lindor got his just deserts. And I’m not talking about a box of chocolates!