In his first Spring Training with the Los Angeles Angels, third baseman David Freese has struggled mightily at the plate, to say the least.
Through three games played this Spring Training, the 30 year old has yet to record a hit, as he is 0-for-6 with one walk, and one run scored. Freese appears to be having a hard time adjusting to the change of scenery after spending his first five years in the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals. The former World Series MVP was acquired by the Halos this offseason in a trade that sent outfielder Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals in exchange for Freese and relief pitcher Fernando Salas.
The addition of the five-year veteran to the Angels is expected to provide the needed production at third base, something the Halos have not had any consistent stability at since the days of Troy Glaus. Although Freese had a down year in production in 2013 with hitting just .262 with nine home runs and 60 RBIs, Los Angeles is hopeful that he can recapture his 2012 form that helped him earn in his only All-Star selection in his career.
In that 2012 season, Freese had career best numbers across the board in home runs (20), RBIs (79), on-base percentage (.372), walks (57), hits (147) and games played (144). In 2013, the third baseman was on pace to have a similar year in production, as evident by his 20-game hitting streak, but leg and back injuries limited his level of play on the field.
So, as a member of the Angels, Freese will be looking to re-establish himself as a productive player, as he has plenty of motivation from not only wanting to prove to his new team that he can be a key contributor offensively, but also that he is the long-term solution at the hot corner.
If the 30 year old wants to show that those statements are true, he must pick up his production this Spring Training to avoid an early season slump in his first year with the Halos that first baseman Albert Pujols and outfielder Josh Hamilton both experienced.
Freese has a prime opportunity to be an invaluable piece to the Angels’ success this upcoming season, so with that in mind, he must start producing at the plate this Spring training.