Lindor, who came to the Mets at the start of the calendar year in a trade from the Cleveland Indians, was the subject of too much media speculation in the days leading to MLB’s Opening Day.
Lindor and the Mets were negotiating a long-term deal for several days, but the shortstop had been adamant on talking about a deal after the season was underway.
Thankfully, both sides were able to reach an agreement, as Lindor signed a 10-year, $341 million extension that will keep him in New York until he is 38 years old.
Although the total sum of the contract looks outrageous and the Mets should be at least somewhat worried about the final portion of the deal given to a shortstop that relies on athleticism, Lindor is not overrated, as the numbers back up the reputation of his play.
Francisco Lindor Has The Numbers On His Side
Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, is a stat that was created to determine a player’s overall contribution in the diamond.
For hitters, WAR counts batting, defense, and base running contributions to determine how many “wins” above a hypothetical replacement a player is worth.
Since 2015, the year he made his major league debut, Lindor ranks third among all MLB batters in WAR, with 29.2, and should surpass 30 at some point in the first couple of months of the 2021 campaign.
Only Mike Trout, with 46.5, and Mookie Betts, with 38.4, have more Wins Above Replacement than Lindor since the latter is playing major league ball.
Lindor has been an above-average offensive player, with a 118 wRC+ in the same timeframe.
Weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+, establishes 100 as an average offensive contribution, meaning that Lindor has been 18% better than his peers.
He has a lifetime .285/.346/.488 batting line, with 138 home runs and 99 stolen bases, so he has been a top of the order mainstay.
Francisco Lindor has hit 138 HR in his first 6 MLB seasons, 3rd most by a SS through their first 6 seasons in MLB history.
Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks and Alex Rodriguez are the only SS to hit more HR than Lindor in their first 6 seasons, and they are both in the 500 HR Club. pic.twitter.com/w0H8GAfgXP
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 1, 2021
However, the most impressive part of his game is his excellent defense at a premium position, shortstop.
A Master Of The Glove
Lindor is sixth in Fielding Runs, the defensive component of WAR, since his debut campaign, with 87.3.
Give us your best adjective.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 25, 2019
Overall, he has had a positive contribution in all facets of the game.
Lindor will now be the face of the New York Mets for the next decade, which is something that the team had been missing as it becomes very competitive and enters a new era with a wealthy owner, capable decision-makers, and a talented roster in place to contend for a World Series title right now.
So while Lindor may be a tad overrated as a batter (only 39th in Batting Runs since 2015, with 78.5), he may actually be a little underrated as an overall player and charismatic franchise leader.
With three 30-homer seasons in a row before 2020, an elite glove, excellent speed and leadership skills, Francisco Lindor is definitely not overrated.