Freddie Freeman Found His Power in 2016, But Did it in a Unique Way
As the Atlanta Braves continued selling off MLB talent to rebuild for the future last winter, general manager John Coppolella was adamant about one thing: first baseman Freddie Freeman wasn’t going anywhere.
Fast-forward to a few months later as the left-handed hitter wraps up a career year and everyone can see why he’s worth every penny of that $135 million contract. Enjoying such a performance was probably the furthest thing from Freeman’s mind after a rough first two months, though.
By the end of May, he was just hoping to get hot and dig himself out of a slow start. While Atlanta’s offense as a whole was historically bad, Freeman also struggled to a .251/.338/.419 triple slash with eight home runs and 15 RBI.
Then, the first baseman caught fire – he’s hitting .335/.435/.654 with 25 homers and 73 RBI since June 1, including a ridiculous 1.249 OPS through 82 at-bats in September.
The biggest sign of growth in Freeman’s game has been his power. His 33 homers and .980 OPS are currently career highs, while his 43 doubles are tied for a career high. This has produced a 6.2 fWAR, which ranks within the top 10 in all of baseball.
So, how did he do it? Not exactly the same way as most young sluggers tap into their power potential.