Francisco Lindor's arrival in Cleveland is something many Indians fans spent four years looking forward to. Scouts have raved about his defense since before the Tribe made him the #8 overall pick in 2011, and while he's never been someone expected to hit for much power, most evaluators have viewed him as someone who would be an above average hitter.
Lindor was called up to make his MLB debut on June 14, and his defense was an immediate upgrade over what the Indians had been getting from Jose Ramirez and others this season, but his offensive numbers were really tepid. Through three weeks as a starter, Lindor was batting .203/.241/.257 in 81 plate appearances. He had only two extra-base hits and while a .246 BABIP was responsible for some of his weak slash line, he'd struck out in 21.0% of his PA, so possible bad luck on balls in play was certainly not the only culprit.
It takes some time to dig out of a hole like that, so Lindor's overall numbers still don't look great, but he's been awesome during the last three weeks, with the kind of numbers that will make him a star if he can sustain them. His batting line going back to the final week before the All-Star break: .319/.355/.500. He's had 7 extra-base hits (including 3 HR) in 76 PA, and has seen his strikeout rate drop all the way to 11.8%. Obviously 76 plate appearances is not a large sample size, but strikeout and walk rate both become significant pretty quickly, which is to say that big changes over even the span of three weeks mean something.
Add in the plus defense he was always pegged for, and Lindor has been worth 0.7 WAR over at FanGraphs during the last three weeks. Project that over a full 162-game season, and Lindor would be worth more than 6 wins, a figure only 9 players in the American League are on pace to top this year.
This is not to say Lindor is going to be one of the ten best players in the league next season, but it seems worth pointing out that Lindor has been that caliber of player lately.
Two things we still haven't seen: stolen bases and walks. Lindor stole 30 base in 2014, and was on pace for ~24 this season before being promoted, but has stolen only 1 for the Indians. My guess is that as he gets more comfortable, he'll try to steal a few more bags. (He hasn't attempted any during these last three weeks.) As for the walks, his Triple-A walk rate in 38 games at the end of 2014 was 5.0%, but in 58 games there this year it jumped to 9.6%. His walk rate with the Indians is 5.1%, but I expect the same sort of jump once he has time to make some adjustments.
The last week has been absolutely terrible for the Indians, and most fans are understandably starting to look ahead to 2016 and think about what sort of team the Indians might be. If you're among the fans doing that, you should start to consider the possibility that the Indians will have one of the best shortstops in baseball.