GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Off the bat, Francisco Lindor thought he had a home run on Sunday afternoon. The Indians top prospect and No. 4 overall by MLB.com, was not wrong, but the manner in which he collected his first round-tripper of the spring was entirely different than anticipated.
A strong wind at Goodyear Ballpark knocked down Lindor's blast to center field, and a blazing sun hindered Padres center fielder Wil Myers' ability to track down the towering shot to the wall. When the baseball dropped to the ground unexpectedly, Lindor hit the accelerator and made a mad dash for the plate.
"I started running and running," Lindor said on Monday morning. "I put a good swing on that. I thought it was going to go."
Indians third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh waved Lindor home and -- when he caught a glimpse of a potential relay throw up the middle -- the young shortstop dove head-first across the plate for an inside-the-park home run. Lindor laughed when asked if the dive was more due to strategy or exhaustion.
"Both," Lindor said with a smile.
Through 11 Cactus League games this spring, the 21-year-old Lindor has hit .292 (7-for-24) with the inside-the-park homer, one triple, three doubles and five runs scored. With Jose Ramirez installed as Cleveland's starting shortstop, the switch-hitting Lindor appears ticketed for Triple-A Columbus to begin his fifth professional season.
Until that time comes, Lindor is trying to get the most out of his time with the Major League club.
"I'm having a blast," said Lindor, who was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. "I'm having fun day in and day out with the guys. I'm learning and trying to be a better player and I'm trying to execute everything that they put on the table for me, to get it done. I'm trying to do that and I'm having a blast."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.