When the New York Mets traded for Francisco Lindor, it came with the assumption that they’d lock him up long-term. After a tumultuous negotiating process, the two sides finally agreed on 10-years, $341 million. This makes Lindor both the highest paid shortstop in history, and highest paid Met in history. While it may not have felt like it at the time, the easy part is over. Now, Lindor has to make good on his potential and prove he deserves this contract. Fortunately, current projections show a continued Hall of Fame trajectory for the next decade of Lindor’s career.
Arguably the best shortstop of his generation, Lindor has already amassed an impressive resume in his first six seasons. At 27 years old, he’s accumulated 27.9 bWAR, 896 hits, 191 doubles, 138 home runs, 411 RBIs and 508 runs. To put these numbers in perspective, out of every shortstop in history, the only three to have outpaced Lindor through his age-26 season (in most of these stats) are Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken Jr. and Honus Wagner. The fact that the three greatest shortstops in history are the only players to outpace Lindor speaks volumes to how incredible he has been.
Of course, Lindor doesn’t have to come anywhere near Wagner’s 130.8 bWAR to make it into the Hall of Fame. Right now, the 26 shortstops in the Hall have an average bWAR of 67.5. Even with the shortened 2020 season depriving Lindor a full season in the middle of his prime, he’s still on pace to reach this total.
Below are the most up to date ZiPS projections for Lindor through 2031, the final year of his contract.
Adding in his totals from the 2021 ZiPS projections, Lindor’s output over the next decade looks absolutely astonishing. By the end of his Mets tenure, he will have racked up 39 fWAR, 1428 hits, 310 doubles, 272 home runs, 752 RBIs, and 832 runs. Combined with his existing numbers, Lindor projects to end his career with 2324 hits, 501 doubles, 410 home runs, 1163 RBIs and 1340 runs. As for his WAR total, fWAR and bWAR are different in some regards, most notably with how they measure defense. This means that his 39 mark here isn’t fully comparable (for reference his current fWAR total is 29.2, 1.3 points higher than his bWAR). Still, it’s safe to say with these projections that Lindor would end up just over-under the 67.5 bWAR mark.
As for the rest of Lindor’s stats, they would be more than enough to get him a plaque. For example, his 2324 hits would place him above 13 of the current Hall of Fame shortstops. Likewise, his 501 doubles would top all but five of them, while his 410 home runs top all but two.
The only real knock against Lindor here is that his roughly .260 average and .330 on-base percentage would rank near the bottom of the pack. Still, these shouldn’t be enough to keep him out of the Hall. Plus, none of this even goes into his fielding stats which, as of right now, are superlative as Lindor is the best defensive shortstop in the game.
Another important thing to note is that these projections come after Lindor put up career-worst numbers in 2020. Assuming that year was just an anomaly, his ZiPS projections from before the 2020 season may be more accurate. Dan Szymborski, the creator of ZiPS, noted last winter that Lindor was projected “to finish with around 80 wins, a .279/.339/.490 career line, 443 homers and 2,600 hits,” further solidifying his Hall of Fame status.
Now, it should go without saying, but take these numbers with a grain of salt. Obviously, projections aren’t an exact science and can’t fully account for things like injuries or other potential stoppages in play. That said, they do a good enough job providing a basic outline of how a player will perform.
Furthermore, whether or not Lindor enters the Hall is a trivial matter. For now, all that the Mets are concerned with is getting as much out of Lindor’s prime as possible. Even if he falls off a cliff halfway through his contract, continued All-Star production in the near future is huge for a Mets team with World Series asperations. Ultimately, if he can perform anywhere near these projections, he may go down as one of the greatest, if the not the greatest position player in Mets history. Beyond that, Lindor entering Cooperstown in a Mets cap would just be icing on the cake.
Featured Image Courtesy of Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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