Tyler Freeman grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California and attended Etiwanda High School.
As a senior, Freeman led all California prep players with a .526 batting average in 30 games, four homers, eight doubles, four triples, and 36 RBIs.
Freeman was drafted straight out of high school by the Cleveland Indians in 2017 and is currently a member of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
Freeman has some terrific batting ability, being a high-contact hitter has led to a lot of success in both high school and minor league baseball. The Indians believe they can teach Freeman how to become a power hitter but are still very pleased with the numbers the young man is putting up.
I asked Freeman what the toughest transition was going straight from high school baseball to the minors and he said, “coming from high school was for sure a challenge. In high school we would have two games a week and then the minor leagues we have games and practice every single day. The travel is a lot more as our bus rides consist of hours instead of the 20 minute rides. Being one of the youngest players on the team I’m playing with guys that are a lot older than me as well. It’s for sure a different change of scenery.”
I then decided to ask Freeman what his goals were as he moves forward not only in minor league baseball but baseball in general and he said, “one of my biggest goals moving forward with my baseball career is to always have a strong mind despite the results. I really feel like if you have a strong mental game it can take you very far in not only baseball but in life. Also I want to make an impact to any team that I play for in the minor leagues to hopefully win a championship.”
Like I mentioned previously, Freeman is currently a member of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers as the team’s shortstop. Through 31 games, Freeman has a .358 batting average, 11 doubles, one triple, 21 RBIs and five stolen bases.
I asked Freeman about his experience with the Valley Scrappers and he said, “playing for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers has been an unforgettable ride. Being my first minor league season it has definitely exceeded my expectations. The guys here have made it a lot easier to feel at home with this team. I could not ask for a better group of teammates and coaches to go to battle with.”
Family always has an impact on what we do in our futures so it felt right to ask Freeman what made him want to continue a career in baseball and he said, “what made me pursue a career in baseball had to do with my pops. When I was about 3-4 years old, he handed me a baseball and I couldn’t go back. Everything growing up for me was baseball this and baseball that. Not only my dad but my mom has been one of my biggest supporters. God has blessed me with this amazing opportunity and his plan will tell how far he wants to take me in this life.”
Finally, to cap off the interview I asked Freeman what MLB player he looked up to growing up and he said, “growing up I always watched the shortstops such as Michael Young, Rafael Furcal, and Troy Tulowiszki but the one that everyone will be talking about for many years to come is Derek Jeter. Whenever I had the chance to watch him play, he made an impact on the field and I knew he was the player I wanted to idol after. I was very fortunate to watch him play for a short part of his career.”
Freeman is a beyond talented shortstop as an outstanding defender and a very impressive hitter. Make sure to check this young kid out as a member of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Believe me, with his ability to hit line drives and aggressively run the bases. The MLB should be calling him up much sooner than expected.