Indians infield prospect Tyler Freeman underwent surgery on his left shoulder yesterday, the team announced. The Athletic’s Emily Waldon (Twitter link) reported back on July 29 that Freeman’s season would be ended due to the injury, though he is expected to be recovered in time for the start of Spring Training. Freeman’s shoulder has been bothering him since late June, and he played in only five games sandwiched in between a pair of stints on the injured list.
On the plus side, Freeman has likely done enough at Double-A this year to earn himself a spot on the Triple-A roster to begin the 2022 season. A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Freeman has hit .323/.372/.470 over 180 plate appearances in his first exposure to Double-A pitching this season, recording two home runs and 14 doubles. Assuming he returns healthy from his shoulder surgery and plays well at Triple-A, Freeman is on pace to make his Major League debut next season.
Baseball America’s midseason prospect rankings place Freeman as Cleveland’s top minor leaguer, and as the 40th best prospect in all of baseball. Freeman has continued to display excellent bat speed and contact skills, and while he has continued to mostly work as a shortstop, he has also seen action as a second baseman and played his first seven pro games as a third baseman. The Tribe currently have Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez up the middle, though between Rosario’s ability to play in the outfield and Gimenez’s struggles at the plate, there is room for Freeman to emerge as a regular at either middle infield position (with some scouts believing he’ll eventually be a second baseman).