By his standards, Francisco Lindor had an underwhelming first year with the New York Mets. That being said, he has really turned things around in 2022.
Just going off the eye-test, it appears Lindor has his mojo back. It doesn’t matter if he’s at the plate or in the dugout. The energy he’s bringing to the clubhouse each day is on fully display.
We caught up with Francisco Lindor to discuss his second season with the Mets, relationship with Buck Showalter, partnership with Gatorade and more.
Francisco Lindor: This is an amazing experience. It’s a privilege to be able to announce this prestigious award to the best high school player. Brock Porter is an amazing player. They haven’t finished the job yet, but he’s well on his way to accomplishing the ultimate goal of winning a state championship. It was really cool to surprise him with the award and see his reaction. It’s always fun to announce something like this.
The Spun: You’re now in your second season with the Mets. You’re on pace for yet another All-Star year. Do you feel more comfortable now in New York?
FL: It’s more business as usual. There are always adjustments. There’s a new coaching staff, a new front office. But I’m in the same house I was last year, so that’s really cool. I’m more familiar with the places around me - it’s those little details that you don’t really think about at first. It’s been easier to manage life this year, that’s for sure.
The Spun: What is your relationship with Buck Showalter like?
FL: Buck is great. He’s so professional, but at the same time, he’s loose and let’s us have fun. He always keeps us on our toes. He has been so amazing for the team. He makes us want to work harder each and every day, be accountable, and own up to our mistakes. We don’t dwell losses and we don’t celebrate wins for too long. Our mission is to the be the last team standing. Once the next day arrives, we turn the page.
The Spun: There was a video where you gave Pete Alonso advice before his at-bat. He went on to hit a home run. I thought that was a cool moment. How much pride do you take in a leadership role?
FL: Those conversations are huge. What you see on camera or on paper is different from what you see in that actual moment. That’s what we talk about on the field. Brandon NImmo does an amazing job, Mark Canha does an amazing job. Whenever someone hits a home run or strikes out, they come up to me and tell me what they’re seeing at the plate. Then, you got out and execute. We just go back and forth giving out advice like a real team.
The Spun: You recently talked about how the Mets can’t just rely on Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer to save the team. With that said, how have you guys been able to steer the ship without them?
FL: I think it starts with the leadership on top, and then it works it’s way down. Everybody has a job to do, and we all try our best to make sure we reach our goal. When we found out Jacob deGrom wasn’t going to be able to start this season, it was a bummer but we still have a job to do. And then when Max went down, we were like, ‘OK, we need to pick him up.’ He has been picking us up since Day 1. Now, it’s our job to hold things down while he’s out. So many players are stepping up this season. It’s always a next man up mentality here, but at the same time, we’re all counting on each other.
The Spun: No team in the MLB has been hit by more pitches this year than the Mets. What is up with that?
FL: Earlier in the year, they were pitching us a lot more inside. When you do that, you have less room for mistakes. When you pitch outside, you have a bigger area to miss. If you miss inside, you usually hit the batter. I don’t know if it stopped because guys have more grip because of the warm weather or if we turned around on a couple of inside pitches. It’s one or the other. We’re still getting hit, but not as much - and that’s a good thing.
The Spun: The two New York teams have really shined this season. Have you thought about how electric the Subway Series will be this year?
FL: Not really. I know they’re playing very well. I see them in every highlight. I’m happy that both teams in New York are playing well. That’s great for everybody. Now that you mentioned it though, I think it’s going to be super electric. Last year was a very special one. The game on Sept. 11 was very special. I’m looking forward to it now that you put it in my head. Hopefully, we’re both healthy and still playing really good baseball.
Lindor might be on pace for another All-Star season. In 62 games, he’s batting .245 with nine homers and 45 RBIs.
Most importantly, the Mets are playing winning baseball. They currently own a 41-22 record, and Lindor’s resurgence has certainly played a factor in their success.
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