The Atlanta Braves entered the 2013 MLB season with a potentially deep lineup. That lineup has had its ups and downs throughout the first half of the season, but one hitter has been consistently great — Freddie Freeman.
You could make the argument that Justin Upton hitting 12 home runs and leading the Braves on a 10-game win streak qualifies as enough for team MVP. Or perhaps even Evan Gattis, who has been the most clutch player on the team with four pinch-hit home runs. However, Upton has seen his average drop to .245 for the season while Gattis has played in just 53 games.
Other than missing two weeks due to an oblique injury, Freeman has been a consistent, productive threat in the middle of the order. He leads the team with 53 RBIs, 81 hits and a 1.9 offensive WAR rating. Among qualifiers, he leads the team with a .307 average, .384 on-base percentage and .854 OPS. He is also top five on the team in other major offensive categories such as doubles (14), home runs (nine), runs scored (40) and walks (31).
In a streaky lineup to say the least, Freeman’s presence in the middle of the order has helped stabilize the ups and downs.
The 23-year-old deserves some recognition around the league for his strong first half to the 2013 season with his first All-Star Game selection. Currently, Freeman sits fifth in votes among National League first baseman behind Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt, Allen Craig and Brandon Belt. It’s a tough position to be an All-Star at with very good offensive players in the group, but Freeman should be in the game representing the leaders of the NL East as the best player on the team.
If you agree that Freeman has been the Braves first half MVP, vote for him for the 2013 All-Star Game. He deserves some recognition for a great first half.