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Top prospect Lindor displays some power

Top prospect Lindor displays some power

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians are not expecting top prospect Francisco Lindor to develop into a power hitter, but the young shortstop has shown some pop in his bat this spring.

In the seventh nning of Sunday's win over Seattle, Lindor launched a three-run home run that pushed Cleveland to a 6-3 victory. The switch-hitting Lindor has already proven to be a versatile offensive weapon in his three Minor League seasons, but that kind of power stroke tends to be a bonus.

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"I don't think he's going to be a power hitter," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But can the guy hit the ball out of the ballpark? He's proved he can do that. That's part of what's fun. These guys grow into stuff. You don't know what they're going to grow into.

"I mean, Jimmy Rollins grew into hitting some home runs. He's kind of a similar body and similar style of play. You just don't know. What part of this does confidence play in it, as you reach higher levels? Or, bat speed, intelligence, timing, things like that. You just don't know."

Lindor, 20, was selected by Cleveland in the first round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and projects to begin this season at Double-A or Triple-A. In 104 games between Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Akron last year, Lindor turned in a .303/.380/.407 slash line to go along with two homers, 22 doubles, seven triples, 34 RBIs, 25 stolen bases, 49 walks and 65 runs.

Francona said the Tribe's evaluators have already seen plenty of leadership skills in the young shortstop, too.

"I think everybody feels like he has that type of personality," Francona said. "But there's a way to do it and you can't skip steps. I think he's in a hurry to get to the big leagues, as every young kid is, but there's a process and you can't skip steps.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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