Tyler Freeman is our 16th overall prospect on Let’s Go Tribe, and before we get too deep int statistics, please go read Brian’s interview with the young man from last year. I try not to get too hand-wavy, but read this interview and tell me that his mind isn’t exactly where you want it to be for a young, promising prospect.
I know that some people prefer to hang their hat on stats. I present the following statistical rack: Freeman slashed .297/.364/.414 as an 18-year-old shortstop in the rookie leagues. This came after the Indians drafted him as the 71st pick in the 2017 draft, grabbing him during the competitive balance round.
He hails from the West Coast. Etiwanda, Rancho Cucamonga, specifically, where a grade called “Transitional Kindergarten” exists. Freeman’s career to this point suggests that, “raking and drawing walks” is one of the first lessons learned by students.
Can he walk his way to the Indians? Maybe. It’s a long way to the Major Leagues for a guy who was born when Vertical Horizon first dropped earworms across the radio. However, his combination of talent, attitude, and love of the game lead me to believe we’ll be talking about him for a little while longer around these parts.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 15 PROSPECT FOR 2018?
Aaron Bracho, SS (Age 16)
One of the top international prospects signed by the Indians in 2017. Earned the largest signing bonus of any Indian that year at $1.5 million. Could move to 2B due to lack of arm strength. Bat is his biggest strength, could hit for power and average as he develops.
Matt Esparza, RHP (Age 23)
2017 (AA): 17 GS, 94.2 IP, 17.8 K%, 8.9 BB%, 4.94 ERA, 5.14 FIP
2017 (A+): 9 GS, 47.0 IP, 20.3 K%, 5.6 BB%, 3.26 ERA, 4.25 FIP
Drafted in the 14th round from UC Irvine in 2015, Esparza struggled a bit in his jump to AA. Has managed to hold batters to a sub-.300 BABIP at all levels of play since single-A. Still fairly young for the AA level and is the subject of the #TeamEsparza hashtag across LGT.
Ernie Clement, 25 2B-SS (Age 21)
2017 (A-): 187 PA, .280/.315./343, 0 HR, 6 SB, 3.2 BB%, 6.4K%, 99 wRC+
The Indians selected Clement in the 4th round of the 2017 MLB draft. He won a National Championship while playing at Virginia University and tallied a 21-game hit streak at Mahoning Valley last season.
Quentin Holmes, OF (Age 18)
2017 (R): 169 PA, .182/.220/.289, 2 HR, 5 SB, 4.7 BB%, 36.1 K%, 39 wRC+
The first pick by the Indians in the 2017 draft. Holmes was the fastest player in the draft and possesses, legitimately, 80-grade speed. Plenty of room for development hailing from a northern climate in New York.
Brady Aiken, LHP (Age 21)
2017 (A): 27 G, 132 IP, 14.9 K%, 16.9% BB%, 4.77 ERA, 5.76 FIP
It’s probable that no prospect will far as fall on this and other Indians’ prospect lists. In his first full season of baseball after Tommy John surgery Aiken struggled. All the tools remain, but the path back from a torn UCL is never easy.
Julian Merryweather, RHP (Age 26)
2017 (AAA): 16 GS, 78 IP, 21.3 K%, 7.0 BB%, 6.58 ERA, 3.89 FIP
2017 (AA): 9 GS, 50.2 IP, 25.5 K%, 4.9 BB%, 3.38 ERA, 3.10 FIP
Has the best-rated fastball in the Indians system, hitting the upper 90s. Struggled after being promoted to Triple-A in 2017 but has the command to succeed. Should make his MLB debut in 2018.
Johnathan Rodriguez, OF (Age 18)
2017 (R): 119 PA, .250/.381/.333, 0 HR, 0 SB, 17.6 BB%, 19.3 K%, 108 wRC+
The youngest player in the 2017 MLB draft, has a good eye at the plate and a great throwing arm. Has a very projectable frame at 6-foot-3 with the potential to develop power although he doesn’t have any yet.
Who should be the Indians No. 17 prospect?
This poll is closed