Cleveland Indians: 5 internal options to be Cleveland’s shortstop of the future

Shortstop Andres Gimenez #0 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Shortstop Andres Gimenez #0 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians, Gabriel Arias, Cleveland Guardians
Infielder Gabriel Arias #71 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Gabriel Arias, 2B/SS, Cleveland Indians

Gabriel Arias was one of the most intriguing names coming to Cleveland in the Mike Clevinger trade from last summer, and he showed out well in Spring Training with the Tribe in 2021. With his strong performance and excellent defensive skills on display, he landed himself in Triple-A Columbus to start the 2021 Minor League season.

With the Clippers, Arias has slashed .272/.342/.426, with 10 home runs. He has more natural power than the other potential options as short, and he has one of the most touted arms defensively in the Cleveland system.

Arias is also only 21-years of age, and made the jump to Triple-A in 2021 after having only played in High-A during the 2019 season. If he can translate his plate approach and his defensive prowess to the Majors, he has a compelling case to be a potential fit at shortstop in 2022, if he doesn’t get a call up before the 2021 campaign is over. Arias is definitely a name to keep a close eye on.

Tyler Freeman, 2B/SS, Cleveland Indians

Tyler Freeman has had some recent fanfare as the newly minted No. 1 prospect in Cleveland’s entire organization. After usurping the honor from Nolan Jones (who still has great potential regardless of the prospect ranking demotion), expectations for Freeman will be sky-high going into 2022.

Unfortunately, the injury bug has ended his 2021 campaign in Double-A Akron, but not before he made his case by slashing .323/.372/.470, with only 21 strikeouts in 164 at-bats. He has one of the best pure bats in the system, and has the defensive versatility to potentially play at second and third base, as well as short.

Although Freeman has only played as high as Double-A, he could potentially fit himself into Cleveland’s short term plans if he steps up with a strong Spring Training in 2022. For now, though, he just needs to focus on getting healthy.