Oh what might have been. After years of very good production that hinted at a possible blockbuster campaign being on the horizon, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman looked to be on his way toward an MVP season as 2017 got underway. Freeman burst out of the gates by cracking 9 home runs and batting a scorching .381 in March/April to begin all the fun and May was going swimmingly with 5 more long balls before disaster struck in the form of a fractured left wrist from an HBP. The break kept Freeman out from May 18 all the way to July 4th; in the process stunting what was shaping up to be some truly monster offensive numbers. What is crazy is that despite missing all that time, Freeman still ended up with 28 home runs and a .307 average in 514 at-bats. On a per game basis, few hitters were more potent than Freeman was in 2017 and as an added bonus; he gained third base eligibility for those whose qualification number was 15 games or below. Overall the offensive production last season was no shock as Freeman swatted 34 home runs the year prior and that just so happened to coincide with the Braves finally giving him some protection in the lineup. The talent was never in question here and so now at the age of 28, more bonanza numbers are going to be on the way for Freeman in 2018. What really makes Freeman a complete hitter is the fact that he draws walks at a high rate (12.6 BB/9) and keeps the K’s down (18.5 K/9) to help supply the string of .300 averages with all the pop. Add in a surprising 8 steals last season and Freeman is as good of a second round pick as you are going to get this spring.
2018 PROJECTION: .310 36 HR 95 RBI 109 R 7 SB