Shortstop Francisco Lindor, the Indians' No. 1 prospect, got off to a solid start to the season in Double-A Akron's Opening Day 7-1 victory at Binghamton, N.Y. He went 2-for-5 with a stolen base and a run on Thursday.
After a long offseason and Spring Training, Lindor said he was just happy to get back on the field for a competitive game.
"I was really excited," said Lindor, who is ranked No. 10 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list. "I was stoked because every time you get to play on Opening Day, it's good. After a while, you get tired of Spring Training and you're ready to get out of there and a play real game."
Lindor leads a prospect-laden team in Akron. He is joined by right-hander Cody Anderson (No. 4 on the club's prospect list), center fielder Tyler Naquin (No. 5), catcher Tony Wolters (No. 9), second baseman Joe Wendle (No. 11), infielder Ronny Rodriguez (No. 13) and left-hander Kyle Crockett (No. 17). All seven appeared in the win. Anderson allowed one run on four hits in six innings to earn the victory, and Wolters added two hits and an RBI.
After climbing through the Minor Leagues with most of his teammates, Lindor said he knows how good the RubberDucks are capable of being and was glad they were able to start the season on the right foot.
"I'm happy we got the W," Lindor said. "It's good to get the first one out of the way."
Lindor has shot through the Minor Leagues since the Indians selected him eighth overall in 2011. He is considered to be among the best defensive shortstops in the Minor Leagues, and hit .303 with 25 stolen bases between Class A Advanced Carolina and Akron in 2013.
Thanks to his late-season promotion to Akron last year, Lindor is closing in on his Major League debut. He said he hopes to improve as much as possible this season so he'll be prepared when he gets the call.
"I'm just trying to be the best player I can be," Lindor said. "That way I'm ready when that day happens that I get called up to the big leagues."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.