With a 2013 that saw the Atlanta Braves end their season in the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team decided to save money on free agency for the most part and pay their young core. The biggest of those signings was Freddie Freeman at eight years for $135 million.
With his new contract under his belt, Freeman can now sit back, relax and play the baseball the people of Atlanta know he can play. Considering his play in 2013 and his MVP caliber performance toward the end of the season, it’s easy to see that Freeman is a premiere player in the league. Not only a premiere player, Freeman will win the NL MVP in 2014 as the team advances into the playoffs.
In 2013, Freeman clearly had his best season of his short career. He hit .319 and tied his career-high with 23 home runs. He also set a career-high with an on-base percentage of .396, a slugging percentage of .501 and the most runs batted in he’s ever had with 109. However, there is nothing that says that Freeman was done with his production.
He’s projected to hit just .293 this coming season with the same number of home runs and 29 less runs batted in. They do have him slated to have a slugging percentage just as high as last season, yet his on-base percentage to be down 21 points. Some numbers will be accurate, but some will be nowhere close.
There is no chance that Freeman doesn’t hit at least .305 in 2014. The 23 home runs that they gave him will probably be close to his final number, but he has the ability to hit 27-30 in a season. He will get well over 100 runs batted in this season if Jason Heyward can stay healthy in the leadoff spot. He will easily be the anchor of the lineup and will lead this team with his bat and glove to the playoffs and a division series win in 2014.