2019 in review: Despite missing time in April recovering from calf and ankle injuries, Lindor still managed to have a typical Lindor year. He belted 32 homers in just 143 games, hit .284/.335/.518 and stole 22 bases. He won another Gold Glove award and made his fourth All-Star game.
Beyond the stats: Lindor’s walk rate was down a little from years past, maybe trying to get his timing back as he came back and also make up for lost time with the bat and help the team. He wasn’t affected in quality of contact, maintaining a 90.3 average exit velo, and a 40% hard hit rate. However his xWOBA of .330 suggests his .349 wOBA was a little bit lucky at times. One area he didn’t see any struggles or lack of luck in was on defense at 11 outs above average at shortstop, putting him in the 97th percentile.
Offensive impact: As a switch hitter Lindor doesn’t have any platoon splits, though in his career he’s been better against left handers overall but was better against right handers in 2019. He’s proven he has 30 home run power. If they reverted to a less hitter friendly baseball, he would still maintain 25-30 homer power and of course 20 steal potential. He doesn’t strike out a lot and walks just fine. I think he’d be better served in the second or fourth spots of the lineup rather than leadoff, then again, getting Lindor more at bats is always a good thing because of how impactful his offensive game is.
Defensive impact: After winning his second Gold Glove in 2019, it’s clear Lindor is still an elite defender. Perhaps if Andrelton Simmons had been healthy all of 2019 he may have claimed the gold glove, but Lindor is still right on par with him in every aspect, though Simmons may have a stronger arm. But he adds as much defensive value as he does offensively overall.
2020 role: Depending on when the season starts and how much of there is, who knows where Lindor hits in the lineup. It seemed likely he was probably going to continue to leadoff. Maybe leadoff isn’t ideal, but anything that gets him more at bats does so that’s why it’s at least acceptable. Whatever the length of the season, if there’s a season, he’ll give the Indians another impactful campaign no matter where he hits. The only question is how much of a season there will be, if any.
Fantasy impact: Trevor Story probably provides a little more value on the bases and has the thin air and sprawling outfield at Coors to work with, but Lindor is a close second. He’s a first round pick and top salary player in auctions. You’ll get 20 or more homers and steals each with an average that’s going to help your team, rather than hurt or be harmful to your average.