Rankings Counterpoint

Rankings Counterpoint: Fretting Freddie Freeman

Underestimate Freddie Freeman at your own peril.

I have seen too many people pass over Freddie Freeman in fantasy baseball drafts. The most common complaint about Freeman is that he supposedly doesn’t hit enough home runs, especially for a first baseman. Well OK that is true to some extent. But Freeman did hit 23 home runs in each of the last two seasons. His 23 home runs were good for 11th among first basemen last year, which isn’t great but isn’t bad either. But consider that only 2 first basemen had more RBIs than Freeman (109 RBIs), and only 4 first basemen scored more Runs than Freeman (89 Runs).  Then factor in that Freeman had the highest batting average ( .319 AVG) among all first basemen. Now Freddie Freeman is looking pretty freaking good.

But you know what the best part is? Freeman did all that while he was 23 years old! That is a huge, huge factor in dynasty leagues. How many players max out their power when they are 23 years old? Not many, if any at all. We can comfortably expect Freeman’s home run output to increase over the next several years. I don’t think it is unreasonable to predict Freeman to have several 30 home run seasons in his prime. Combine that growing power with a batting average in the .300 range and you are looking at a rare fantasy beast.

Freeman battled an oblique injury early last year. Oblique injuries take a long time to heal and are known to sap power from hitters. Under the effects of the oblique injury prior to the All Star break last year Freeman hit a home run every 35 at-bats. Presumably with a healed oblique after the All Star break he homered every 17 at-bats. If he were to get a full season of 600 ABs at that home run rate he would hit 35 bombs. That is simply fantastic power for a 23 year old hitter. I don’t think lack of power is a good reason for not drafting Freddie Freeman, especially in a dynasty league.

Like almost all first basemen Freeman is never going to steal many bases, but he is going to be highly productive in the other 4 fantasy categories for many years to come. He plays in a good hitting lineup that will provide him with plenty of opportunity to rack up Runs and RBIs. The Braves have a good young team with guys like Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton surrounding Freeman in the lineup. If your league uses On-Base % as a category Freeman is a stud in that statistic too.

Freeman’s peripherals indicate his offensive output is for real, not a fluke. His line drive rate, K:BB ratio and contact rates are solid and raise no red flags. Given his youth we can expect his performance to improve over time as he gains experience and his body matures. He is already one of the better hitters in baseball, assuming a normal age-based progression he will soon be elite.

Going into the 2014 season Freddie Freeman should be drafted in the 2nd round of standard re-draft leagues. He should be snapped up in the 1st round of dynasty leagues and most keeper leagues. Now that you know how optimistic I am about Freeman’s future, you can imagine how excited I was to snare him with the 29th overall pick of The Dynasty Guru Experts League draft (#TDGX on Twitter). I considered taking him with the 12th pick of the 1st round and was absolutely thrilled to grab him in the 2nd round!

Seek Freeman out via draft or trade. If you make a trade for Freeman post your deal in the comments below.

Nick Doran writes all kinds of cool stuff about the game’s ultimate flamethrowers at Blazing Fastball and will answer your baseball questions on Twitter @BlazingFastba11.

The Author

Nick Doran

Nick Doran


  1. Ernie
    March 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    No need to trade for him since Freddy has been on my Dynasty roster since he was added to Yahoo leagues in 2010.

    • March 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      Awesome Ernie. You snagged him early like pro!

  2. Sean
    March 11, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Freeman had a BABIP of .371 last year. Knock that batting average down at least 30-40 points, then base your decisions on that.

    • March 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      You are right that Freeman likely won’t post a BABIP of .371 again this year, but we can expect his BABIP to be higher than normal due to his batted ball profile. I would plan for a very solid .300 AVG from Freeman over the next several years.

  3. […] second round pick was divulged on TDG last […]

  4. trevor
    March 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    You more excited about him than Eric Hosmer for the years to come?

    • March 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Yes I like Freddie Freeman much more than Eric Hosmer for the years to come. I like Hosmer too though, don’t get me wrong. Freeman just has a longer track record of consistent success. Hosmer has had some peaks and valleys and is less of a sure thing compared to Freeman.

  5. […] I very seriously debated taking Freeman in the first round so needless to say I was thrilled to snare him 17 picks later. Freeman is already an elite fantasy option and he is young enough to expect continued growth as I explained here: Fretting Freddie Freeman. […]

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