Fantasy Crush: Freddie Freeman

Maybe it’s because I used to sport similar facial hair to Freddie Freeman, but ever since he made his debut with the Braves in September 2010, I have been a big fan. The knock on him is that he can’t hit left handed pitching and his platoon splits definitely back this up. But, I’m a believer in Freeman and I see a 23 year old kid with loads of potential to become a real contributor to your fantasy team.
First Base ADP

  1.  Albert Pujols 6.59
  2. Joey Votto 10.49
  3. Prince Fielder 13.22
  4. Paul Goldschmidt 21.38
  5. Edwin Encarnacion 24.01
  6. Adrian Gonzalez 30.21
  7. Allen Craig 35.52
  8. Billy Butler 36.34
  9. Mark Teixeira 46.74
  10. Anthony Rizzo 49.56
  11. Freddie Freeman 59.72
  12. Paul Konerko 71.78

Freeman is a void in stolen bases, he just doesn’t steal (6 on his career) and his AVG dropped from .282 in 2011 to .259 in 2012. However, he does bring some thunder in the other counting stats. In 2011 Freeman appeared in 157 games (571 AB) and due to a couple hand injuries and an eye condition, he played in 147 games (540 AB). So he had fewer chances, but he put up significantly better counting stats. Freeman’s runs scored and runs batted in totals both jumped above 90. His 91 runs scored, in 2012, was a 16% jump in production and his RBI totals ¬†went up about 19%. His power numbers did increase, just not by as much. He hit 21 HR in 2011 and 23 in 2012. His ISO rose 30 points from .166 to .196.

The graph on Freeman’s stats is moving in the right direction (up and to the right), which makes it hard for me to believe that he’s currently the 11th first baseman taken, according to His ADP is 59.72 which puts him directly behind Mark Teixeira and Anthony Rizzo. I have some trouble with putting Teixeira in front of Freeman. I see Teixeira as a guy who’s getting older and his skill set is eroding. And I just don’t believe in him. Anthony Rizzo is the same age as Freeman and took huge strides last season when he was called up by the Cubs, clocking 15 HR in 87 games. But ultimately I see them as similar players.

Because Freeman’s draft stock is comparatively low, end of the 6th round, he has immense value. So if you miss out on Pujols, Votto and Fielder early, I encourage you to wait for Freddie Freeman. Don’t go crazy, he’s not going to vy for the 2013 MVP or anything, but he will give you 2 extra rounds of draft value if you take him in the 6th round.

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