B.S. Report: Freddie Freeman the face of the Braves franchise
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – We are seeing a star emerge for the Atlanta Braves. I’m not talking about Johan Camargo or even Ender Inciarte. Yes, they are opening eyes, and Inciarte might be a star in the making himself. I’m talking about someone who is one of the best players in the sport – a player who might be in the Braves Hall of Fame one day.
I’m talking about Freddie Freeman. You might think Freeman has already been a star for a few years, but I’m not so sure. I think it’s happened really in the last 12 months. Going back to last season at this time, Freeman has hit .336 with a .443 on base percentage, 35 home runs and 92 runs batted in. Freeman had never hit more than 23 home runs in one season before he hit 34 last year.
He was on pace for even more this season before he broke his wrist in May. That forced him to miss 44 games. But why am I talking about this now? I could have had this conversation after last season. Well, look at what’s happened the last few weeks. Freeman came back from his injury and moved to a new position. He knew Matt Adams saved this team with his production in Freeman’s absence, so Freeman moved across the diamond to play a position he hasn’t played since high school. How many stars do that? Not many.
Freeman has also picked up just where he left off before his injury by hitting the baseball. In his first 10 games, Freeman hit .310 with three home runs and 10 RBI. He’s played well at third base, with a couple of diving plays. Freeman can definitely play third, even if he’s not Brooks Robinson. But Monday, Brian Snitker moved Freeman back to first base for a day, and Freeman made two spectacular plays to save four or five runs. The Cubs had runners on base, and they would have scored if not for Freeman’s great plays. How many players can bounce back from an injury and not miss a beat at the plate, or for that matter bounce back and forth between first and third and make great plays with the glove?
Freeman is appointment TV. You want to be watching when he comes to the plate. You want to see each night how he will help the Braves win. You want to watch him hit. He’s the type of player this franchise has had when they’ve been special, whether it’s Dale Murphy in the early-80s, or David Justice in the 90s or Chipper Jones for 18 seasons.
We thought it might have been Jeff Francoeur or even Jason Heyward, but it’s Freeman. He’s the player who has emerged as the star to take the Braves to the next level. When this team gets good again, Freeman is going to be at the forefront.
Considering all the young players around him, Freeman will be the veteran. He’s answered the leadership question off the field by becoming that player his teammates look up to.
He’s become the best hitter in the lineup, and one of the best fielders on the team. Freddie Freeman, quite simply, has become a star, and the Braves are lucky to have him.