Francisco Lindor is happy he decided to make the jump to professional baseball, and by all indications, the Indians organization should be just as enthused.
Cleveland's top prospect went 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs on Monday to lead Class A Lake County to a 6-3 win over Great Lakes.
The quintet of RBIs represents a career high for the 18-year-old shortstop, who was selected eighth overall in last year's Draft and signed with the Tribe just before the August deadline. He also has multi-hit games in four of his last five contests.
Following Monday's performance, Lindor ranks second in the Midwest League in hits (44), fourth in total bases (67) and sixth in batting average (.312) for the Captains, who have won six of their last seven.
"It's awesome. I have no regrets," said Lindor. "Everything's working, thanks to the Lord. I've been able to stay healthy. The team's been able to get W's. There's not really much more I could ask for. It's been great."
Ranked as MLB.com's No. 30 prospect, the native Puerto Rican, who had not played since May 9 due to personal reasons, hit his fourth homer of the year -- a three-run shot -- to right field in the third inning of Monday's contest. He added a two-run single an inning later.
Despite his 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame, Lindor was lauded for his power potential before he made his professional debut late last year. He did not produce a roundtripper in his first 16 games of the season, but has since put four over the wall in 16 games since. Nonetheless, although Lindor takes pride in his ability to hit the long ball, he chooses to characterize his stroke in a different manner.
"I can hit home runs, but I'm not a power hitter," he said. "I'm more of a gap-to-gap guy, a guy that can hit line drives, put down a bunt when I need to bunt, that kind of thing. I'm going to run into a pitch every now and again, but that's not my game. [When I hit home runs,] it's not a surprise because I know I can do it. I won't hit 45 or 50 homers in a year, but I'll get a few. I honestly think anyone in the league can hit home runs."
The Indians drafted Lindor because of his ability not only to hit for power, but because of his ability to hit for contact as well as his baserunning and fielding prowess. Those kinds of labels, along with the tag of being a first-round pick, are enough to worry any ballplayer. Lindor, however, has his own way of dealing with the pressure.
"No matter what pick, what round -- whether it's the first or the 50th, I still have to compete," he said. "I have to show [the Indians] that they made the right choice, and I have to prove to everyone else that I can play, that I can do this for the rest of my life."
Indians' No. 15 prospect Luigi Rodriguez went 1-for-2 with an RBI, a run and two walks out of the top spot in the Lake County lineup.
Great Lakes center fielder Noel Cuevas tripled, plated two runs and scored once.