The Cleveland Indians have selected second baseman/shortstop Tyler Freeman out of Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California with the 71st overall pick of the 2017 MLB Draft. He is currently committed to Texas Christian.
On MLB.com's Top 200 Prospect Watch, Freeman came in at number 141, so he's talented, but not one of the elite prospects this year. With the Tribe taking Quentin Holmes at pick 64, I’m thinking they are hoping to go under slot with Freeman so they can give Holmes some extra dough to get him to sign.
Listed at 6'0" 170 lbs, Freeman has the frame to play either middle infield position, although it appears the Indians will first attempt to give him a shot at shortstop, since that’s the position they announced him when drafted. On the defensive side, scouts think he may move to second base in the future, but he may have the athleticism to remain at shortstop.
Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about Freeman:
When he's at his best, he's a high contact, line-drive hitter, one who should grow into some power naturally in the future. While he's not a burner, he is an above-average runner, especially once underway. If he can continue to swing the bat like he's capable, he could develop into a Michael Young type.
Shortstop is a decent strength in the Indians system, with Erik Gonzalez, Eric Stamets, Yu-Cheng Chang, Willi Castro and Luke Wakamatsu currently manning the position in full-season ball. I think his future is at second base, where the Indians could use a little bit of help since the only top 30 prospects Mark Mathias and Tyler Krieger are already in Double-A.