Mudcats shortstop Francisco Lindor was named to the Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game on July 14 at Citi Field, home of the Mets.
It is the second time the switch-hitting 19-year-old has been named to the all-star team. He will play for the World team against the USA team, because he is a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico.
To make any all-star team is an honor and a blessing, Lindor said. Being named to a Futures game is pretty big. Im just happy to represent the Indians and the World team as well. For me, getting better every day is the goal. This is a great opportunity to do that.
Last year, current MLB players including Baltimores Manny Machado and Tampa Bays Jake Odorizzi and Wil Myers were on the USA roster that took down Lindors team, 17-5, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
With several members of his team like Texas Jurickson Profar and Milwaukees Jean Segura making their MLB debut this season, Lindor is inspired to work harder.
I push myself to make it to the bigs and help any team that Im a part of win. So this just gives me more motivation to prove that Im there for a reason, he said.
The No. 14 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, Lindor is hitting .305 with 15 doubles, 24 RBI, 42 runs and 18 stolen bases this season.
Lindor routinely talks about trying to improve his game and helping his team, but Ross Atkins, Indians vice-president of player development, had high praise for his teams No. 1 prospect.
Hes been unbelievable, Atkins said in a release. Every night (he) gets two or three hits, makes an exceptional play. The things that were very, very small limitations or just goals for him, he seems to be taking off the list one at a time.
His leadership, his commitment, his professionalism we havent experienced anything like that from a high school player.
In his only appearance at the plate last season, Lindor hit a single and said he hopes to continue that success this year. As for the biggest thing he took away from last season, the shortstop didnt hesitate when he talked about the fan support.
I learned a lot last year because it helped me open my eyes to the type of things that can happen once you make it to the bigs, he said. We played in front of 45,000 fans last year, so it was awesome. It was a great experience last year and Im stoked to get out there and do it again.
While Lindor went to New York City when he was a member of USA Baseball and talked to former members of Team USA at Citi Field, but has never played in any of the stadiums.
I cant wait to actually be in the clubhouse and put on that uniform, Lindor said. Last year, Kansas City was awesome with the big crown scoreboard, but playing in New York should be amazing.
Instead of watching people play on fields like that, I get to be a part of it.
Smith: 919-829-4841; Twitter: @RCorySmith