CLEVELAND – The intriguing nature of prep prospects stems from the high-ceilings they possess.
Although inexperienced, the Indians added two players fitting of this exciting breed to their ever-growing pool of young talent.
Cleveland selected OF Quentin Holmes in the second round (64th overall) and INF Tyler Freeman in the Competitive Balance Round “B” (71st overall) on Monday evening in Secaucus, N.J.
"We've spent a lot of time with [Holmes and Freeman]," said Brad Grant, the Tribe's senior director of amateur scouting. "We put our time down into this [second-round] range, and I think the relationships we built with both of these guys really shined through and we're definitely excited to be able to have them."
Holmes played at the varsity level for all four of his seasons at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School, most recently earning the 2016-17 Gatorade Player of the Year for New York.
“He’s a 70-runner. He also has the potential to be a plus defensive player and a very contact-oriented bat," Grant said. "We couldn't be more excited to be able to take Quentin. It was tough for us to predict who was going to be down there."
The 17-year-old outfielder finished his senior campaign batting .420 with seven home runs, 18 extra-base hits and 33 runs scored. His speed on the base paths paved way to 22 stolen bases on 23 attempts, justifying his 6.19-second time in the 60-yard dash.
"The big attraction with Quentin is his speed," said Grant. "He was kind of a fixture on the showcases this past summer, and he actually set the [Perfect Game] nation 60-yard dash record with a 6.19."
A Queens, N.Y. native, Holmes figures to start his professional career with the Arizona League Indians if he inks a contract and declines an offer to play at Mississippi State University. The right-handed speedster is the highest player drafted out of New York City in 21 years.
"He's a fun player to watch," Grant said. "He's a great person on and off the field."
Freeman comes in with more of a well-rounded skill set, going .526 (51-for-97) with eight doubles, four triples, four home runs and 35 runs scored in 30 games over the course of his senior year at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
"We felt like he still has upside left at shortstop," said Grant. "We can continue to get him better there and continue to advance him there. I think the thing that obviously stands out, though, is the bat. That's the top thing that stands out."
The 18-year-old does have signability issues given his intent to play at Texas Christian University, a prestigious baseball school currently ranked sixth in the nation with a 42-16 record in 2017. Many reports compare him to Michael Young, a versatile type of hitter with moderate power at the plate.
"An unbelievable offensive-oriented player," Grant said. "He brings a lot of offensive tools to the game. He's going to be out and be able to hit and then power should come in the future."
As a 2017 Rawlings-Perfect Game First Team All-American and Baseline League MVP, Freeman could begin his career in the coming months alongside fellow draftees as a member of the Arizona League Indians.
"We're going to start him off at shortstop and let him play there," said Grant. "We look forward to getting him out and into our system."