As I watched Freddie Freeman jump start the Atlanta Braves’ offense last night. I marveled at how he has been hitting over the past three weeks or so. He has rebounded nicely after a miserable start to the 2011 season. Look at how he started the 2011 season:
He actually got hot to get his average up to .217 for the month of April. He was hitting in the low .100s through the first 10 games of the season.
Freeman rebounded nicely in May and has gotten even hotter in June. He hit .312 in May and has hit .353 through the first 10 days of June.
Overall, he has put up these numbers in 2011:
Not bad for a rookie that has been criticized on some blogs as not being “ready for major league pitching.”
What I think would be interesting is to compare Freddie Freeman through June 10, 2011, with Jason Heyward through June 10, 2010. I never saw or read any comments about Jason Heyward not being ready for major league pitching last year. He struggled at times, which should be expected by any rookie. Hell, it is expected by many veteran players.
Through June 10, 2010, Jason Heyward had the following stat line:
He hit .272/.380/.485 with 11 doubles, three triples, 10 homeruns, 42 RBIs, 34 runs, 38 BB and 51 Ks through 202 AB.
For comparison’s sake, here is Freeman’s numbers again:
Overall, Heyward’s numbers were better than Freeman’s through June 10 of 2010 compared to Freeman through June 10, 2011. Heyward hit for more power, drove in more runs, scored more runs, and walked a lot more. Freeman has hit for a slightly better average and has more doubles than Heyward.
Heyward was not significantly better than Freeman in 2010 with what Freeman has done this year. If you remember, the Braves’ offense last May exploded. Troy Glaus was ridiculous and Heyward was put in the #2 hole and undoubtedly Heyward benefited from this. This is not to say that Heyward did not assist in that offensive surge last May. He had a great May in 2010.
I say this primarily to point out that Freeman has not had the luxury of hitting in a lineup that has been hot. He has hit in a lineup that has been abysmal at times. He has still put up solid numbers in spite of an anemic offense.
The only reason I want to compare Freeman and Heyward is just to point out that Freeman has made the adjustment to MLB pitching. He has notoriously been a slow starter in the minor leagues. He has rebounded to put up solid numbers.
Freeman still has a lot of games left in 2011. But, at this point, he is proving his value with the Braves’ everyday lineup.
Now, if only Jason Heyward would be healthy and in the lineup alongside of Freeman!