Although not finalist, Lindor has Gold Glove-caliber talent
Young shortstop ranks among best in several defensive categories despite not being eligible for award
CLEVELAND -- When it is all said and done, and Francisco Lindor looks back on his career, he will likely have a number of Gold Glove seasons to his credit. The dynamic young Indians shortstop just won't be able to take home that hardware for his rookie year.
On Thursday, Rawlings unveiled the finalists (three at each position) for the 2015 American League and National League Gold Glove Awards, and no Indians made the cut. For Lindor, it was not that he was not worthy of consideration, it was that the shortstop simply was not eligible.
"It's pretty amazing to see the kind of talent that guy has," Indians catcher Yan Gomes said of Lindor at the end of the season. "It's so many things. From the offensive standpoint, baserunning, even defensively, it's unbelievable. He's definitely going to be a voice to be heard in this clubhouse because of what he's doing."
At shortstop, the AL's finalists include Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox, Alcides Escobar of the Royals and Didi Gregorius of the Yankees.
In order to qualify for a Gold Glove Award, an infielder must have logged a minimum of 690 innings by his team's 137th game, or roughly 7.5 innings per team game. The idea behind the innings requirement is to narrow the field to full-time players. Lindor, who was promoted to Cleveland on June 14, logged 655 1/3 innings through the Indians' 137th game, falling 34 2/3 innings short of Gold Glove eligibility.
Although Lindor did not qualify for the annual defensive accolade, the 21-year-old shortstop still ranked among the best in the league in the field. He ranked first among all AL shortstops with 10 Defensive Runs Saved, and, among shortstops with at least 800 innings, Lindor was first in UZR (10.5), UZR/150 (18.9) and overall defense (15.0), according to Fangraphs.
For comparison, Gregorius had five DRS to go along with a 7.9 UZR/150 and a 14.2 defensive rating. Bogaerts had zero DRS, a 0.9 UZR/150 and an 8.0 defensive rating. Escobar had minus-one DRS, a 6.7 UZR/150 and a 13.9 overall defensive rating.
"[Lindor] made a number of plays that were really important," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Guys that gifted make those plays. What's really important is that he makes the routine play all the time, because he's going to make those [highlight-reel] plays. When that happens, and you're making both [routine and hard plays], that's when you get really special."
Astros fans might point out that -- like Lindor -- rookie standout Carlos Correa also fell short of qualifying for a Gold Glove. That said, Correa did not rate nearly as high as Cleveland's shortstop. Houston's 21-year-old rooklie had zero DRS, a minus-13.7 UZR/150 and a minus-1.6 overall rating in 870 2/3 innings at short after June 8 promotion to the Majors.
At least Correa and Lindor appear to be the top top candidates for the AL Rookie of the Year Award, which will be revealed in November. Cleveland has not had a Rookie of the Year winner since Sandy Alomar Jr. won the award in 1990.
"It would be an honor," Lindor said of possibly winning the top rookie award. "It would be an amazing feeling, not only for me, but for my family, for Puerto Rico, for the organization, the Cleveland Indians, for the fans here. I thank them for all the support they've been giving me."