2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Freddie Freeman

Note from Ryan: Three Flags Flying’s new podcast is up and running here and we talk a lot about 3B options should Josh Donaldson go elsewhere.

Freddie Freeman put up another Freddie season in 2019, only more so. Today’s player review looks at the star first baseman.

Freeman set career highs in home runs, RBI’s, and runs scored, without leaving the comfortable neighborhood where he spent the previous 3 seasons. The final totals: 38 HR, 121 RBI’s, 113 runs, and .295/.389/.549. A Silver Slugger award came as a result.

One hallmark of Freddie’s has been his consistency. Over the past 4 seasons, Freddie’s neighborhood has been a batting average ranging from a low of .295 to a high of .309, and an OBP in the .388 to .403 range. He’s slugged between .549 and .586 in 3 of those 4 seasons. And he’s been credited with 4.4 to 6.5 WAR.

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number…for a 1st Baseman

Freeman turned 30 in September and that prompts the question: How many more years do we feel like we can count on Freddie being Freddie? Freeman is signed through 2021, and decisions will need to be made. He battled elbow problems at the end of 2019, culminating in arthroscopic surgery after the playoffs. In those playoffs he hit .200, with 1 homer and 6 strikeouts in 20 at-bats.

If only there were some one we could compare Freddie to in order to make some kind of projection…

Most Similar by Ages

21 Eddie Murray (965.7) *
22   Eddie Murray (956.7) *
23   Eddie Murray (976.2) *
24   Eddie Murray (954.4) *
25   Eddie Murray (944.8) *
26   Eddie Murray (944.3) *
27   Eddie Murray (934.6) *
28   Eddie Murray (930.3) *        
29   Eddie Murray (936.7) *
* – Signifies Hall of Famer

Oh. Look at that.

Freeman’s most similar hitter by age has been Eddie Murray every single season of his career. Murray was really good through age 34 and played until he was 41. Past performance is no guarantee of future results my attorney obligates me to state, but that is pretty encouraging. Like other 30-somethings, the unanswerable questions are: how well can he avoid injury, and how quickly can he recover from those injuries he does incur.

Freddie’s consistency makes me believe that a healthy Freeman is a good bet to avoid a sudden drop off. There’s nothing fluky in his career to this point. With the reportedly successful surgery, I believe Freddie will maintain his consistent level for at least a couple more seasons, and even a moderately declining Freeman is still pretty dang good.

I like having Mr. Freeman in our neighborhood.

If you enjoyed the 2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review on Freddie, check this one out on another star!

Thanks for reading!

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Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

14 thoughts on “2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review: Freddie Freeman”

  1. For a fun little exercise, on Christmas Eve an Day, we will feature Christmas songs turned into #Braves related themes! Email me your song & I’ll make sure it makes it on the piece.

    It has to be at least 1 verse and a chorus.

    The best song will receive a free Braves Journal tee!

  2. @ 4 and 5,

    I think a Shaw and Camargo (right hand side) platoon can generate 3 plus WAR (maybe 4 or a little more on the 90% projection). Shaw’s 3 year OPS against righthanders (including bad 2019) is around 840. If Shaw becomes good again,you have 2 more arb years to use or trade. Shaw may be “toast”, and you definitely have to believe there was little trade market for him to not offer arb (which would have been 3 or less).

    Carrying Seager to avoid using Camargo and Riley seems like it doesn’t accomplish anything to me. Seager is owed 19.5, then 18.5 then an option (doesn’t appear to have a buyout, but I may be reading Cot’s incorrectly). And, Seager’s 3 year against righties (his good side) is 788.

    ACCEPTING Seager as a negative asset as part of getting Haniger, then that may make sense.

  3. Peanut’s tweet on Braves best defensive plays of the decade makes me ill. Can we trade Dansby and Newk for Simba?

  4. @7

    if it’s the same tweet I saw, it was just someone posing as Morosi that tweeted that out, not a real report.

    I’m encouraged by the reports of Freddie feeling the best he has in a long time, should be another solid season for him. I also want to look towards an extension for him. He wants to be a lifelong Brave so might as well lock him up.

  5. I continue to hope for a big-time bat at 3B since we’re not linked to an elite bat in the outfield. I don’t think I can get excited if we have a 3B/OF of Kyle Seager, Ender, Duvall, Markakis, and Acuna. Even if d’Arnaud repeats his stint in TB, Dansby takes a step forward, and Ender returns to his 2018 form, the lineup lacks a middle-of-the-order presence, especially if you keep Acuna in the leadoff spot:

    Acuna
    Albies
    Freeman

    Then:

    If Seager: Seager/Markakis/d’Arnaud/Dansby/Ender

    If Camargo and, say, Ozuna: Ozuna/Markakis/Camargo/d’Arnaud/Dansby

    In the second scenario, I think Ender becomes the odd man out, which is little silly. But Markakis has pictures.

    If you grabbed a corner outfield bat like Ozuna, though, I could live with Camargo playing 3B and hoping Riley is ready to take someone’s spot, whether it’s 3B, LF, or RF. Riley’s a big wild card in all of this.

  6. Riley’s development is definitely a big wild card. If he can figure out how to be closer to the guy he was in May then that’s a great middle of the order bat.

    I do think he is going to be a very streaky player. He had long stretches on both ends of the spectrum even through the minor leagues. Can he adjust to the major league slider?

  7. On Hot Stove this morning, Meredith Marakovits talked about the Cole dog and pony show scheduled for later today. She is a thoughtful, articulate young lady. She seems to know the game, and she expresses her thoughts clearly and concisely.

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