May 14, 2012
On this clear 63-degree night in Eastlake, the Lake County Captains defeated the Great Lake Loons (Los Angeles Dodgers) 6-3 in front of 1,765 fans. At first glance, this may seem like a routine Lake County victory. The real story, however, is in how they scored those runs. More specifically, who drove them in. The Caps’ shortstop that night drove in five of the six runs. You may have heard of him: Francisco Lindor.
Like virtually every major league star, Lindor was once a prospect playing in the lower levels of Minor League Baseball. On May 14, 2012, however, he gave a glimpse of hos future surperstardom. In the third inning, Francisco gave the Eastlake nine a 3-0 lead on his fourth homer of the season, a three-run shot to right field that scored DH Todd Hankins and CF Luigi Rodriguez. An inning later, he closed out the Lake County scoring with a two-run line drive single to left that scored Luigi-Rod, who had driven in the Captains’ other run of the game (1B jerrud Sabourin) one plate appearance earlier on a liner to the right side of the outfield, and 3B Leo Castillo.
2012 would prove to be a solid full-season pro debut for Frankie Truffle, who spent the 2011 campaign with the Short-Season Mahoning Valley Scrappers after being drafted by the Indians in first round. He slashed .257/.352/.355 with six homers and 42 RBI to go with 27 steals in 39 attempts. The best was yet to come, however, as his .707 OPS is the lowest he has posted so far in a full season in his career, with only his 19- Rookie stint in the back corner of the Eastwood Mall parking lot (.666) and 38 games on the Columbus Clippers roster late in 2014 after making the jump to Triple-A for the first time (.695) being less offensively productive stints for Lindor (next worst full season being .727 in ’14 – largely a result of the aforementioned AAA adjustment). This outing is a prime example of the kind of breakout performances that may not be possible for low minor league prospects if the Single-A level is unable to at least play on back fields this season.