If you followed the Atlanta Braves last season you are aware of all the injuries their first baseman Freddie Freeman endured while playing in his second season in the big leagues. He battled vision problems that started in May followed by a jammed finger, which he suffered sliding into second in June. Even while dealing with these problems seemingly all season long, he still hit 24 homeruns and drove in 94 runs, so hearing that he is fully healthy for the first time in almost a year heading into spring training is certainly good news for Braves nation.
“Last year was just a weird one. I didn’t see well the rest of the season and I had my finger injury, so it never felt right. I feel great right now.” – Freddie Freeman after a workout on Saturday Feb. 15
His batting average dropped from .282 in 2011 to .259 in 2012, but given his inability to see the ball clearly, or drive the ball for much of the season, this is not a cause for concern. In fact, while not being able to see and drive the ball, he improved on his power numbers. This gives the impression that if he was healthy he would have put up MVP type of numbers.
I know, I know, if if’s were wishes we’d all be Aladdin, but think about this: Freddie Freeman can see the ball coming at him for a full season, and now has the ability to drive the ball much easier with a fully healed index finger on his power hand. Add to this his work ethic and you can expect big things Freeman, who won’t be legal to have an adult beverage until September 10.
“If I can just stay healthy, I can have a big year. Last year didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would be, and losing in the wild-card game really was bad. But I got started. I got the eyes checked, the finger feels better, and I am looking forward to a big season.” – Freddie Freeman
Look for Freeman, who has been flying under the radar nationally as a top first baseman, to have what some would consider a break-out campaign. With the departure of Chipper, this is exactly what the Braves need.