Stephanie Storm

Francisco Lindor does not need a reminder.

A 19-year-old prospect. Lindor has been given the same piece of advice since the Indians made him the No. 1 selection (eighth overall) in the 2011 draft out of Florida’s Montverde Academy High School — “be consistent.”

Every time the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Lindor flashes the leather at shortstop with his new teammates at Canal Park, he’ll glance down at his glove and see the familiar initials “BC” that he began scribbling on the glove since this season began in April at high-Class A Carolina.

“I hear it every day,” Lindor said. “Everyone said, ‘be consistent, be consistent.’ My dad tells me every day, too, ‘be consistent, be consistent.’ So, that’s where it came from. It was my new mentality coming into this season: Be consistent.”

The previous season, Lindor’s first in professional baseball, was anything but consistent. Although he often impressed players, fans and scouts at low-Class A Lake County with glimpses of the potential All-Star major-leaguer the Indians expect him to grow into, Lindor experienced more ups and downs than he would have liked.

Thus, being consistent has become his mantra — every day, every at-bat and every play in the field.

“It’s not only in my play, but in being a family man, being a teammate, being a good fiend,” he said.

Most of the baseball world learned of Lindor’s promotion to Double-A late Fri day night after his agent (in an ill-advised move) shared the usually private news on Twitter.

Lindor found out privately from the only professional manager he’s ever known, the Mudcats’ Dave Wallace.

“Going into the clubhouse I was a little upset because we’d just lost on a walk-off,” Lindor recalled of his final Class A game at Frederick. “I went in the clubhouse, was getting ready to shower and Wally said, ‘Put some shorts on and come talk to me.’

“Because I was mad, I thought he was going to talk about the game. Instead, Wally asked me about my plans for [last Sunday’s] Future’s Game and then said he’d see me again in spring training. That’s when it hit me, that’s when I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’?”

Although Lindor has left the protective cocoon provided by Wallace, whom he said, “Has been like my father in the organization,” his new mentor is Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez, a similarly grandfather-type and fellow Puerto Rican.

“It means a lot having him here with me,” said Rodriguez, who managed the Puerto Rico team that played in the World Baseball Classic. “People back home have been asking me when I’ll get him for the last two years. He’s very popular there and they want to see him succeed.”

During Lindor’s 8½-hour drive Monday night from Zebulon, N.C., to Akron, Lindor marveled at a unique portion of the ride through West Virginia.

“I’d never seen so many mountains together,” said Lindor, who grew up in Caguas, Puerto Rico, idolizing countryman and former Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar. “Oh yeah, Alomar, he’s the man out there.”

Don’t be surprised if Lindor, whose .306 average ranked third in the Carolina League, soon becomes the man in Akron.

Lindor’s development at the Double-A level will include more than continuing to learn when to swing at a pitch and when to lay off as well as when to charge a grounder in the field and when to stay back.

With each new minor-league level, the fans’ expectations and media attention increases.

“When we talk about development, we’re talking on the field and off the field,” Rodriguez said. “This [meeting with a large media contingent before his first game Tuesday] is another part he needs to handle. And he’s doing well.”

Lindor’s quick smile and humble attitude have made it easy for him to blend into each new clubhouse he enters.

To make the transition easier in Akron, utilityman Justin Toole was sent back to high Class A Kinston so that the Aeros’ everyday middle infielders and prospects in their own right — shortstop Ronny Rodriguez and second baseman Jose Ramirez — didn’t have to be sacrificed to make room for Lindor.

“We will find a way to play all those guys,” Rodriguez said.

Lindor will remain at short and Rodriguez and Ramirez will rotate between second and designated hitter unless Lindor gets a day off.

“It’s a situation where they can all have success,” Rodriguez said. “Our job is to figure those details out. Their job is just to play the game.”

Lindor realizes that just playing the game doesn’t mean he has to be spectacular every night.

“I don’t want to get caught up in trying to do too much,” he said. “I just have to be consistent — that’s my goal.”

Stephanie Storm can be reached at sstorm@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Aeros blog at https://ohio.com/aeros.