2. Tyler Freeman, SS
Tyler Freeman is making the most of his first season outside the Indians’ facility in Arizona.
Drafted in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Freeman played the remainder of last season within the desert’s rookie league.
He was promoted to the short-season New York-Penn League this year, and he’s beating the cover off the ball for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
The shortstop is slashing .373 (.983 OPS) in 259 plate appearances (through Aug. 22), he’s struck out just 21 times.
When drafted, I speculated Freeman’s MLB fruit would ripen just around the time Francisco Lindor is set to hit free agency.
So far, it’s trending that way.
Freeman only has two homers, but at 19, that’s not a big deal especially if you subscribe to the theory power can be developed later.
Lindor and Jose Ramirez are proof that you don’t need to hit a ton of homers in minors to one day become big-league sluggers.
Freeman’s been profiled as an advanced bat, so the ability to develop more power may be there as his body matures and he works his way through the minor league system.
MLB Pipeline currently rates Freeman as the Tribe’s 19th best prospect. He ended the 2017 season rated 18th.
Don’t place any emphasis on this though, as Freeman will be one to watch down the stretch.