This Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor is not immune to the silent treatment.
Following his first home run with the Akron Aeros on Thursday, Lindor rounded the bases and touched home plate. He returned to a silent dugout at Canal Park.
“It was fun running around the bases after I hit the home run,” Lindor said Saturday prior to the Aeros’ third game of a four-game series with Richmond. “Once I got to the dugout, I saw that they didn’t even move. I knew it was a joke, so I just started running up and down the dugout like a dork and shaking my behind. Then, they stood up and congratulated me. It was funny. It is part of the game.”
Lindor, 19, said he had never been the recipient of the silent treatment from teammates.
“Usually I am the one telling the guys to not do anything, to just sit down and give the silent treatment to another guy,” he said laughing. “I can’t do that here. I just shut up and play ball.”
Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez was coaching third base when Lindor smacked the ball.
“The players had fun with him,” Rodriguez said. “I saw that and I was laughing. I thought that was pretty cool. He handled that very well. He knows they were joking. That makes him feel like part of the team.”
Lindor’s homer helped the Aeros defeat the Flying Squirrels 5-1 Thursday. He went 1-for-4 at bat Saturday with an RBI in an Aeros 7-4 victory.
Lindor, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound switch hitter, has a .381 batting average in 12 games with the Aeros. He has 16 hits, 42 at bats with nine runs, one home run, seven runs batted in, 10 walks, two doubles, one triple, five stolen bases and just one strikeout.
“It’s been fun,” Lindor said. “I am just going out there having a blast and enjoying every single day. I’m not trying to take any second for granted.”
Lindor, a Caguas, Puerto Rico native, was the Indians first-round pick (eighth overall) in the 2011 MLB Draft out of Montverde Academy in Florida.
“Francisco has been handling himself very well, not only on the field, which is obvious, but also off the field, in the clubhouse and in the dugout,” Rodriguez said. “That is very important. We all know what kind of a player he is and we have a very good idea of what kind of player he is going to be.”
Rodriguez said he is impressed by Lindor’s maturity.
“He has been competing at a higher level with better players and he has been handling himself very well,” Rodriguez said. “He is not intimidated at all to face good pitching and good players.”
Lindor, who turns 20 on Nov. 14, doesn’t mind being the youngest player on the team.
“I don’t consider myself that young,” Lindor said. “I go out there and play like I belong in the field. I am learning from the guys that have been here before and done this before. They have a little bit more experience than me, so I pick their brains and learn from them.
“I make adjustments every at bat and every single day. I am playing ball. You can’t forget that you are playing baseball. You are playing one of the greatest games ever.”
Lindor played Saturday in front of Indians President Mark Shapiro and Vice President-Player Development Ross Atkins, who sat in the seventh row behind home plate. Former Indians All-Star Travis Fryman is also in Akron, assisting as a roving hitting instructor.
“Francisco is an incredible talent, there is no question about it,” Aeros owner Ken Babby said. “As a fan, it is exciting to have him here. I think it is real treat to be able see somebody with that kind of a skill-set already at such a young age.”
Aeros win big
Starter Will Roberts pitched 7⅓ innings, and Akron scored four runs in the second and three runs in the fourth to defeat Richmond starter Craig Westcott.
Aeros catcher Jake Lowery singled, tripled, batted in two runs and scored two runs. Second baseman Ronny Rodriguez singled twice, batted in a run and scored a run.
Jesus Aguilar, Carlos Moncrief, Tyler Holt and Matt Lawson each scored one run for Akron. Holt, Lindor and Cedric Hunter had one RBI apiece.
Roberts, a Richmond native, allowed two runs, five hits and struck out four.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.