MIAMI -- The easy thing for the Indians to do would be to get carried away with the success of Francisco Lindor and promote him to Triple-A Columbus earlier than expected. That is precisely what Cleveland wants to avoid in its handling of its top prospect.
"This kid's future is really bright," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But there's a path."
Lindor excelled at High A Carolina earlier this year and has not missed a beat since moving up to Double-A Akron in July. It would take an unanticipated development, however, for the Indians to move the 19-year-old shortstop to Triple-A Columbus this season.
Ross Atkins, the Indians' vice president of player development, has been with the Indians throughout the current series against the Marlins. In discussing Lindor, Atkins indicated that the switch-hitting shortstop was not expected to see Triple-A this year.
"There's not much upside to it unless we thought he could impact our big league club this year," Atkins said. "The most likely scenario is that he'd stay at Akron."
Through 100 games between Carolina and Akron this season, Lindor has posted a slash line of .308/.382/.413 to go along with two home runs, 21 doubles, seven triples, 25 stolen bases, 34 RBIs, 46 walks and 62 runs. In 17 games since being promoted to Double-A, he has hit .317 with an .855 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
Francona said the last thing the Indians wanted to was rush Lindor up the Minor League ladder unnecessarily.
"I don't think we would do that," Francona said. "There's a difference between developing and getting a kid in over his head. It's making guys earn it -- that's an important part of it. As an organization, we have a responsibility of making sure our Major League team is good enough where you don't have to hand guys jobs. I think [general manager Chris Antonetti] has done a great job of doing that."