Those who stormed to Akron to see the debut of the Indians’ top prospect Francisco Lindor will have to wait at least one night to see the type of flash that’s sent him skyrocketing up national rankings.
Lindor’s debut, which was seen by a bigger-than-normal Tuesday crowd of 5,033, was largely uneventful for the 19-year-old shortstop in a 5-2 Eastern League loss to the Erie SeaWolves at Canal Park.
After a walk in the first, Lindor swung at the next two pitches he saw and produced three outs.
In the third inning, he popped up to the left side. And in the fifth he grounded into an inning-ending double play.
He finished the night with a four-pitch walk in the eighth.
“I felt good, I felt good,” he said. “I was comfortable. I just didn’t have any hits.”
Following the walk in the first inning, Lindor said he wasn’t being overly anxious when swinging at the first pitch two at-bats in a row.
They were just the pitches he was looking for.
“No, I wasn’t anxious at all,” he said. “If I would have been anxious, I would have swung at the first pitch of the first at-bat. I was being aggressive.”
In the field, Lindor was clean but not perfect. He turned all four ground balls hit his way into outs, but did bobble one before recovering and making the throw.
All in all, it was only Lindor’s first taste of Double-A baseball.
Expecting fireworks out of the gate is most likely unfair, and Lindor isn’t sure about what challenges await him. But Day One is in the books.
“It’s hard to tell on the first day,” he said.
The rest of the Aeros lineup was nearly as quiet as Lindor.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, right fielder Carlos Moncrief drove a ball off the wall in right field that Jamie Johnson couldn’t handle.
Johnson lost his footing trying to play the bounce and Moncrief rounded second and easily got a triple.
He scored on Ronny Rodriguez’s single up the middle a few pitches later.
Rodriguez, playing second base next to Lindor, later drove in Moncrief with a sacrifice fly to center field that would have been a double in the gap had it not been for a diving catch by the SeaWolves’ Daniel Fields.
Rodriguez finished with three singles and two RBI.
Aeros starting pitcher Brett Brach was solid after a rocky start.
The SeaWolves scored two runs in the first inning on a two-run homer to left by Eugenio Suarez that followed an error.
Brach responded by retiring the next nine hitters.
He threw seven innings and allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits and struck out six.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.