The fans overwhelming sided with stellar-hitting middle infielder Tyler Freeman as the Cleveland Indians No. 5 prospect, improving 11 spots from his No. 16 ranking last season.
A second round competitive balance pick in 2017, Freeman had arguably the best offensive season of any Tribe prospect in 2018. Despite playing in short season Mahoning Valley (Low-A), Freeman put up some insane numbers.
Can you say MVP? Mahoning Valley Scrappers INF Tyler Freeman finished 2018 season leading the New York-Penn League in:— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) September 4, 2018
1) AVG .352
1) wRC+ 168
1) OPS .916
1) Hits 95
1) Doubles 29
1) SLG .511
1) TB 138
1) SO% 7.3%
1) SwStr% 3.0%
T1) Runs 49 pic.twitter.com/FnjZc0x6BM
Freeman actually finished the year fourth in doubles among ALL Indians prospects, and yes that includes all full season players, which is ridiculous. If that double power can eventually turn into home run power, Freeman’s stock will go through the roof.
He also was one of the toughest players in all of minor league baseball to strike out, whiffing in just 7.3 percent of his plate appearances.
As good as Freeman is, there are a couple slight drawbacks. Freeman is playing shortstop for now, but many scouting reports project him to transition to second base eventually. Also, as strong as his hit tool is, he isn’t very patient at the plate, walking in just 2.7 percent of his plate appearances, so that’s something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Barring injury, Freeman will make his full season debut in 2019 with the Single-A Lake County Captains. It should be shocking if the Indians kept him there the whole season like they did in MV last year if he continues to dominate opponents
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 6 PROSPECT FOR 2019?
Yu Chang, SS (Age 23)
2018 (AAA): 518 PA, .256/.330/.411, 14 HR, 4 SB, 8.5 BB%, 27.8 K%, 109 wRC+
2018 (AFL): 93 PA, 337/.396/.523, 4 HR, 1 SB, 7.5 BB%, 17.2 K%
Chang’s average improved in 2018, although his power dropped from 24 home runs to 14 in his first taste of Triple-A. He stood out in the Arizona Fall League and will compete for the Indians’ utility spot this year.
Brayan Rocchio, SS (Age 18)
2018 (DSL): 111 PA, .323/.391/.434, 1 HR, 8 SB, 4.5 BB%, 12.6 K%, 140 wRC+
2018 (R): 158 PA, .343/.389/.448, 1 HR, 14 SB, 6.3 BB%, 10.8 K%, 137 wRC+
Venezuelan signed in 2017, same class as Valera, destroyed the DSL and was promoted to the AZL quickly. Many scouts said he was the best player in the AZL last year, exploding up Tribe prospect rankings as a result.
Bo Naylor, C (Age 18)
2018 (R): 139 PA, .274/.381/.402, 2 HR, 5 SB, 15.1 BB%, 20.1 K%, 126 wRC+
2018 first round pick, Naylor brings an advanced plate approach and plus hitting to the catcher position. His prospect value will stay high as long as he can stay behind the plate.
Luis Oviedo, RHP (Age 19)
2018 (A-): 9 GS, 48.0 IP, 32.5 K%, 5.3 BB%, 1.88 ERA, 2.22 FIP
2019 (A): 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 16.7 K%, 19.4 BB%, 3.00, 5.36 FIP
The Venezuelan broke out in 2018, winning back-to-back-to-back Pitcher of the Week awards in his Low-A debut for Mahoning Valley. He’s a sinkerballer with nasty swing and miss stuff in the mid 90s.
Bobby Bradley, 1B (Age 22)
2018 (AA): 421 PA, .214/.304/.477, 24 HR, 1 SB, 10.7 BB%, 24.9 K%, 111 wRC+
2018 (AAA): 128 PA, .254/.323/.430, 3 HR, 0 SB, 8.6 BB%, 33.6 K%, 109 wRC+
A 2014 third round pick, Bradley has been 3-4 years younger than his level every season and continues to be a top power threat. Has hit 23+ home runs the last four seasons.
Who should be the No. 6 Indians prospect?
This poll is closed