published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Local baseball players shine as professionals
FRANK JOLLEY | Staff Writer
With the World Series under way, many professional baseball organizations are reflecting on the past season and pass out awards to top players.
Two former Montverde Academy standouts, Francisco Lindor and Alexis Rivera, had outstanding debut seasons and were honored by their respective minor leagues.
Lindor, a first round draft choice -- eighth overall -- by the Cleveland Indians in 2011, was named to the Midwest League postseason all-star team, and Rivera, a 10th round pick by Kansas City in June, was named to the Arizona League All-Star team.
A shortstop, Lindor batted .257 in 122 games with the Lake County Captains, the Indians' Single A Midwest League affiliate based in Eastlake, Ohio. Lindor had six homers and 42 RBIs, and stole 27 bases for the Captains.
According to Baseball America, Lindor entered the 2012 season as the 37th best prospect in minor-league baseball. He led the Captains with 568 plate appearances and 490 at bats. Lindor also had team-high totals of being hit by the pitcher on 11 occasions and he walked intentional eight times.
Lindor played in the 2012 Major League Baseball Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. as part of MLB's All-Star Weekend. The game featured top prospects from all levels of the minor leagues.
Rivera quickly made his presence felt in the Arizona League, a short season rookie league, with a .341 batting average. He played in 48 games and had three homers and 34 RBIs.
He also led the Royals with nine stolen bases.
One of Rivera's teammates in Arizona was Alex Hudak, a former Mount Dora High School standout and also a past member of the Leesburg Lightning in the Florida Collegiate Summer League.
In 14 games with Arizona, Hudak started slowly and batted .188, but caught fire when he moved to the Appalachian League as a member of the Burlington (N.C.) Royals where he torched opposing pitchers with .344 batting average in 19 games. A left-handed batter, Hudak hit .571 against left-handed pitchers.