Just about 7-10 days away from beginning a rehab assignment, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is also set to embark on transitioning to third base upon his return so as to keep the suddenly potent power bat of Matt Adams in the everyday lineup. Prior to breaking his wrist on an HBP, Freeman was in the midst of a truly monstrous start to the season as he was hitting .341 with an insane 14 home runs and 25 RBI in just 125 at-bats. Still just 27 despite it feeling like he has been around forever, this is what a hitter reaching his prime looks like. Unfortunately fate interfered in terms of the HBP but Freeman still has plenty of time to put up a huge season when he gets back to the Braves in early July. Having already begun taking ground balls, Freeman will now try to become the new third baseman for the Braves which of course will add precious third base eligibility as well which makes him even more valuable. While Freeman is a top tier first baseman easy, he actually has slightly more value at third base given the more shallow aspect of the position compared to the other corner.
Now in terms of the numbers, part of the reason Freeman had such a big breakout this season was due to sizable gains both in his BB/9 and K/9 rates. In 2016 those numbers were 12.8 and 24.7 respectively. This season? Try 16.4 and 18.8. Yes a .356 BABIP is well in the lucky zone but overall Freeman has reached a new level of hitting ability. So in terms of his numbers prior to getting hurt, they were pretty much totally legit and so expect nothing but more blockbuster statistics when he does get back into action.