2013 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper: Freddie Freeman
Many people thought that 2012 would be a true breakout fantasy season for Atlanta Braves first baseman, Freddie Freeman. Unfortunately his 23 home runs and 94 RBI seemed modest considering his preseason hype and the pure size of the infielder.
Freeman was only able to play in 147 games due to several nagging injuries, and he even missed games due to problems with his prescription contact lens, as his eyesight was a major factor throughout his 2012 season. He has always battled with injuries throughout his small major league stint, but his raw power greatly outweighs his likelihood to get injured.
The first baseman stands at a very intimidating six-foot-five and his massive 255-pound frame allows him to crush 400-foot home runs with ease. Freeman could have just as easily had a successful NFL career, so the fact that he stuck with baseball shows he is at least confident in his skill set. He is still maturing as an all-around hitter, but has already developed into one of the best power hitters in the game.
Freeman’s effortless swing will allow the young slugger to have many 30-plus home run seasons in the future. He can hit the ball out to both sides of the ballpark, making him more than just a positional power-hitter. He may not be well-known in the casual baseball household, but he certainly will be within the next couple seasons.
However, Freeman did strikeout an alarming 129 times through 147 games, while only drawing 64 walks all year. He still needs to work on taking pitches around the strike zone. The first baseman must also work on being able to identify the difference between the release point of a big league fastball and breaking pitch, as it is one of his biggest flaws as a major league hitter. Drawing walks is a necessary tool to develop in order to become an elite fantasy option, since the game is about more than just hitting dingers.
Despite his minor deficiencies at the plate, Freeman is the next great fantasy monster at first base. The 23-year old will put up much better fantasy numbers next year, as Freeman will have a full off-season to keep his eye on the ball. Expect him to get back to work and easily eclipse 30 homers in 2013.
2103 Fantasy Prediction: .279 Avg., 35 HRs, 40 2Bs, 110 RBI, .367 OBP