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Francisco Lindor played like an All-Star in only 99 games

It took Francisco Lindor only 99 games to play his way into our hearts and onto #3 in our MVP countdown.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Lindor hype levels have been set to maximum ever since he was drafted by the Indians with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 Amateur Draft. He came into 2015 as the Indians No. 1 overall prospect, and if these first 100 games in the Major Leagues are any indication, the hype was worth it--and he could be even better than we ever imagined.

Early on in the season, when the Indians were struggling, many fans questioned why Lindor was not being called up. The most obvious answer was that the Indians brass wanted to keep him in the minors until the Super 2 deadline passed so they could get an extra team-controlled year out of him, but there may have been another reason. Lindor was not overwhelming in his first couple months playing in Triple-A. He was slashing .253/.330/.352 through May and had his share of troubles on defense. However, on June 13 during a rain stoppage in Columbus, Lindor received a text from Terry Francona that read simple, "Hurry up and get up here."

Lindor looked like a typical rookie through the first month. Up until the All-Star break, he was hitting with a .223/.257/.311 slash and two home runs (54 wRC+), although his defense was enough of a plus that he was still an asset for the Tribe. Post All-Star break, Lindor was more than anyone could have thought. Not only was he the best rookie in the second half, hands down, but he was one of the best hitters in the league. His hitting slash improved to .345/.386/.544 over those second-half 327 plate appearances, and he also added another ten home runs, 19 doubles, and four triples.

Although he ultimately lost the American League Rookie of the Year award to Carlos Correa, Lindor was named Rookie of the Month for September. Five of his season’s 14 home runs came in that single month, as well as 39 hits, six stolen bases, nine doubles, and three triples.

We can never know for sure if calling Lindor up early on in the season would have saved the Indians playoff chances, but it was obviously the right time for Lindor. Now we just have to wait and see if he can repeat this performance for the next 15 years (all on the Indians, of course) on his way to a Hall of Fame career. No pressure.

April - - - - - - - - - - - - -
May - - - - - - - - - - - - -
June 15 112 31 23 1 0 1 1 .211 .258 .281 47 -
July 25 130 40 30 4 0 4 1 .295 .324 .448 111 -
August 28 133 39 21 8 0 2 4 .370 .413 .500 152 -
September 31 111 23 18 9 4 5 6 .325 .366 .592 159 -
Total 99 438 122 84 22 4 12 12 .313 .353 .482 128 4.6