With their No. 1 pick (eighth overall) in the 2011 MLB amateur draft, the Indians selected high school shortstop Francisco Lindor.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound switch-hitter is a senior at Montverde Academy High School in Florida and has verbally committed to play college ball at Florida State.
"He has the ability to stay at short," Indians amatuer scouting director Brad Grant said. "To get a premium position athlete like Francisco is rare, where his defensive side is premium...He's got plus hands and plus feet, easy range, very good instincts and the true ability to stay at shortstop."
Lindor's offense impressed the Indians as well.
"He's a switch hitter who is very good from both sides of the plate, a line-drive, gap-type hitter with some power," Grant said.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder batted .528 during his senior high school season with six home runs, 13 RBI, 31 runs scored and with 15 of his 28 hits going for extra bases. On the base paths he also recorded 20 steals in 21 attempts.
Lindor was a Rawlings First Team All-American this season and won the home run hitting contest at the All-American Game in Aug. 2010 at San Diego’s PETCO Park. In 2009 he helped Under-16 Team USA to a gold medal in Taiwan by hitting .500 with three triples and six steals.
Lindor's path to being a Top Ten selection in this year's draft was calculated before he even officially became a teenager. The Clermont, Fla., resident was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, before moving to the Orlando area at age 12.
"What he's done to come over here is impressive," said Grant, who talked to Lindor over the winter and visited with him this spring. "We've gotten to know him very well. Every time we've talked to him, we've come away even more impressed.
"He didn't know English when he came here and yet went to a private boarding school known as much for its academics as its baseball team. It's a place where students come from all over the world to go to school. Plus having to support his family, he's made a lot of sacrifices."