PORT ST. LUCIE — Class was in session early Friday morning at Clover Park, with Francisco Lindor pausing his role as student to serve as the teacher.
Lindor, J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme were doing early work fielding grounders on the left side of the infield when Lindor stopped the drill. The Mets’ star shortstop had some advice for Davis at third base, seemingly on getting rid of the ball quicker. The trio had been getting timed on their throws to first base.
Infield coach Gary DiSarcina was across the diamond, but Lindor, the two-time Gold Glove winner, took the lead to help a teammate for around 15 minutes before getting back to work.
“It’s always fun to be around guys that are like that, that can help you out and are willing to do that,” Guillorme said later on Friday. “Having Francisco around us has been great. He’s been helping everybody out and I think he enjoys doing that.”
Friday morning’s impromptu tutorial stood out, but moments like that have been a common sight early on in camp, with Lindor also spending plenty of time in early-work sessions consulting with his new double-play partner Jeff McNeil.
Davis, who is trying to sharpen his defense to prove he can be the Mets’ everyday third baseman, has appreciated Lindor’s approach.
“You feed off [his energy] right away,” Davis said earlier in the week. “Knowing that that type of player, that caliber a player is wanting to get better and is so focused on the details that, why aren’t you doing it? It comes with a little bit of a humble pie where you should be getting extra work in, working on this, working on that. Just because you’re a starter, you’re a third baseman this year, whatever it is, you need to get better. If this guy’s getting better and he’s that good and he still takes pride in his craft, then you should be doing it as well.”
It has quickly become clear that when the Mets traded for Lindor from the Indians, they weren’t just getting a productive hitter and fielder.
In addition to taking the lead on the soundtrack playing on the backfields — asking each of his teammates to chip in three songs to the playlist — Lindor has been the full package, with his presence noticed daily.
“You talk about Lindor, the player he is and plays that he can make — short[stop], with his bat, on the bases, but also as a teammate, listening to those things, giving feedback to the players and also taking feedback, it’s just a lot of value there,” manager Luis Rojas said. “I’m grateful that’s going on in camp this early.”