In just two seasons, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor has morphed from a highly rated prospect, whom scouts thought would need years to hone his offense, to an absolute terror both at the plate and in the field.
Lindor earned the first Gold Glove for an Indians player since 2008 (Grady Sizemore) for his work during the 2016 season, when he posted a fielding percentage of 98 percent and was third in the American League in Defensive WAR. He also won the Platinum Glove Award, given to the best overall fielder in the American League.
Lindor’s performance at the plate might have been even better. He hit .301 with an OPS of .794 and drove in 78 runs. He posted an Offensive WAR of 3.7. The kid who supposedly needed multiple seasons to develop into a well-rounded player is already a full-blown superstar.
His performance was the catalyst for the Indians’ unexpected run to the World Series, which ultimately ended in disappointment after the Indians blew a 3 games to 1 lead against the Chicago Cubs.
Lindor hasn’t had much of a World Series hangover, though. Once the season ended, he headed home to Puerto Rico to start preparing his body for 2017. The Indians’ best player might also be their biggest workout freak.
STACK caught up with the player they call “Frankie” to talk training, why he’s not afraid to wear anything and the one cheat meal he can’t seem to shake.
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STACK: Something we’ve noticed through your two seasons in the majors is that you’ve gotten noticeably bigger. What are you typically doing during the offseason?
Lindor: In the offseason I try to focus on my diet, make sure I eat better, sleep better. I work on different [exercises], like Iso Holds, where you hold at the top and you hold at the bottom. So there’s different things that I’ve been doing since back in high school.
What does a typical day look like during your offseason training?
I wake up around 6 in the morning, eat something, shower, then head to my high school where I train at. I lift weights in the morning, then I do something to get my feet going, do some conditioning. Then I do some hitting, take some ground balls, and then I go back to my high school and either hit again or do something to work on my mechanics, whether it’s running, fielding or hitting. At night, I have a punching bag at my house, where me and my girlfriend work on our punches.
Have you always been this into training?
Yes. But I don’t overdo it. I do it the right amount. It’s important. The most important thing is eating right and sleeping right, to help with your recovery. If you don’t eat right and you don’t sleep right, you’re not gaining much. That’s one of the biggest things.
How many hours of sleep do you typically get?
I try to get anywhere from 8 to 9 hours [per night]. And then I take a nap during the day. I have to nap during the day.
You mentioned your diet. What’s the one food that’s been impossible to give up?
I’m still working on my diet. I eat pizza almost every weekend. I love eating pizza. And I love chocolate. I’m working on bringing more greens into my diet. I don’t like them, but I’m working on it. And drinking water. I only drink water. I make sure I’m getting my protein shakes at the right time, right after I work out and right before I go to bed.
You’re also clearly the most stylish dude on the team. You outdress most of your teammates.
That’s what I love about baseball. You get country boys, you get Latinos, you get Americans. You get a good mix of [styles of)] dress. I dress however I want. I’m not scared to try anything on. Whatever I find, if I like it, I’m going to wear it whether people or like it or not. I like fashion.