July 11, 2013 will go down as a day Freddie Freeman will not soon forget.
The 23-year-old first baseman for the Atlanta Braves was selected to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game just hours before going 3-for-4 with four RBIs in the Braves’ 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.
Freeman will have many more three-hit nights during his career, but I doubt he’ll have the same feeling as he had in being selected to his first All-Star Game. While Freeman looks to have multiple All-Star selections in his career, winning the National League fan vote with a record 19.7 million votes undoubtedly added drama to the process.
Most of the hoopla of the final vote was centered around Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, but it’s hard to argue the selection of Freeman based on his numbers in the first half of 2013.
He ranks in the top 10 in the NL in batting average (.313), RBI (60) and on-base percentage (.392) while hitting nine home runs and 19 doubles. More importantly to the Braves, he is hitting .421 with runners in scoring position and .389 with runners in scoring position and two outs.
His numbers support his All-Star selection, but if that wasn’t enough, he validated the selection in leading the Braves to a victory against the Reds. Freeman tied the game with his two-run double in the first inning. He gave the Braves their first lead with an RBI single in the following inning and drove in the final run for the team with another RBI single in the fourth inning.
It was an impressive performance by Freeman in front of the home crowd on Thursday night. But then again, that’s almost expected from the first baseman, who has made a habit of demonstrating his incredible hitting talent this season and why his selection is well-deserved.