At only 24 years old, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has already established himself as one of the better players in baseball. However, 2014 has seen Freeman take it to the next level with a torrid beginning to the season.
On Saturday night against the New York Mets in a 7-5 Braves win, Freeman went 3-for-4 while driving in a run and scoring another. This performance improved his batting average to .413, which is second only to Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley in all of MLB. In addition, Freeman has displayed an early power stroke with five home runs, placing him among the league leaders in this category as well.
Freeman is coming off an exceptional year for the Braves that produced 23 home runs and 109 RBIs to go along with a .319 average. As impressive as these numbers were, the thought of Freeman developing additional power must be a disturbing notion for the rest of the National League.
In his three full seasons with the Braves, the young first baseman has exhibited decent power with home runs totals of 21, 23 and 23, along with a knack for driving in runs. However, if Freeman were able to increase his home run production to the 30-35 range, his game would become even more potent.
The Braves selected Freeman in the second round of the 2007 draft, and the young slugger debuted three years later at the age of 20. While he has been a remarkably consistent player for the Braves, his game seems to be evolving even further this season. Of course, Freeman will not be able to sustain this current pace, but his numbers at the end of the season should place him squarely in the middle of the MVP discussion, where he will remain for years to come.