The Cleveland Indians will be represented in the Futures Game by Bo Naylor, but one could help but notice a glaring omission from the American League’s roster.
Shortstop Tyler Freeman was left off the team, which comes as a surprise considering how high his stock is soaring.
Freeman is getting his first taste out of A ball, playing this season with the Class AA Akron RubberDucks. He was 21 on Opening Day and has gone onto turn himself into one heck of a contact hitter, while playing shortstop everyday.
Freeman’s slashing .327/.377/.469 through June 29. Unbelievably, he’s struck out just 104 times in 1,038 minor-league at bats.
Baseball America also considered Freeman’s absence a snub and added that he would’ve been an “Interesting choice as a table-setter the top of the lineup.”
At the big-league level, some believe Freeman could eventually move over to second base, which came up in a post yesterday that talked about the Tribe being proactive in trading Cesar Hernandez.
Trading the Gold Glove winner wouldn’t mean the Tribe was waving the white flag, rather, Amed Rosario would kick over to second so the red-hot Andres Gimenez could return to Cleveland. In 2022, Rosario could play center, with Freeman taking over second.
Freeman is currently ranked as the No. 2 prospect within the organization by MLB Pipleline. Third baseman Nolan Jones is No. 1.
Cleveland Indians Futures Game notes
1. The only Cleveland player to land on the list was catcher Bo Naylor, the brother of Josh Naylor. Bo, a former first-round pick, is having a dreadful time with Class AA Akron, batting .183 with a .541 OPS.
2. The younger Naylor just doesn’t walk, taking a free pass just 14 times in 129 plate appearances, which spans 31 games. He struck out 47 times in that same span.
3. Call me salty about Freeman…but why did Jared Kelenic make it? He’s appeared in the major leagues this season and was so bad, he needed to be sent back down. Yes, he’s still a top prospect, but should failure land you in this game?
4. Future game alum Nolan Jones has an Major League ETA of 2021 according to MLB Pipeline, but I just don’t see how the Tribe could bump him up. He has 61 strikeouts in 190 plate appearances, compared to just four home runs. His OPS isn’t terrible, though, sitting at .767.