Just a few weeks after the St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated in the World Series by the Boston Red Sox, the team has decided to part ways with third baseman David Freese. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal because he had a down year in 2013 and he is 30 years old, the Los Angeles Angels got a bigger steal than most teams realize.
Freese hit just .262 with nine home runs and 60 RBI in 2013, but don’t let those numbers fool you. He has the power and fielding ability needed to fill the void at third base that the Angels had been facing. Freese hit 20 home runs and 79 RBI in 2012 with a .293 average. However, the most impressive part of his stat line that season was the fact that he posted a .372 on-base percentage.
It might not seem like .372 is all that great, but when you get on base near four out of every 10 at-bats, you give your team the best possible chance to score runs — especially with Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols in the lineup. Not to mention, Peter Borjous — who was traded to the Cardinals in return — had just a .306 career on-base percentage.
Sure, Borjous had more speed, but the fact that Freese can get on base and stay on base is a positive. If he improves his fielding percentage — ranking 15th among third basemen in 2013 — then he will be one of the biggest pickups of the offseason.
The Angels lineup just got that much stronger and people will realize that when they witness Freese make a difference at the hot corner.