Freeman batting .458 after another 3-for-3 day

JUPITER, Fla. – Braves rookie Freddie Freeman has played eight games this spring, and already has a pair of 3-for-3 hitting performances.

The big first baseman went 3-for-3 in Monday’s loss against Florida, raising his batting average to .458 (11-for-24) with a .500 on-base percentage.

He has three doubles, four RBIs, two walks and four strikeouts.

“He’s going to win that plasma TV for the Grapefruit batting title,” joked Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, before adding on a serious note: “He’s swinging it. He really is.”

He’s got four more hits than any other Braves player, but Freeman has impressed at least as much with his glove. He made another scoop on a short-hopped throw to complete a double play Monday.

“I think he’s going to be really good [defensively],” said Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, who made his second start and was charged with four hits, one run and two walks with one strikeout in three innings.

“Last year when he came up with us, it was the first time I really saw him throw the glove around a little bit. I liked what I saw,” Hudson said. “I think he’s going to be really good over there, especially once he gets a little more comfortable and starts realizing he belongs up here and he’s going to be our guy over there.”

Hudson couldn’t resist a good-natured jab at the 6-foot-4, 242-pound rookie.

“He’s really smooth, which is surprising because he looks real goofy,” Hudson said. “He’s a goofy-looking little fella. But he’s pretty smooth, and can swing it.”

Braves first-base coach and infield instructor Terry Pendleton said he realized during Freeman’s September callup that the rookie was better defensively than he’d thought.

“He’ll be good out there,” Pendleton said. “He can play. Once he gets his footwork, he’ll be fine; he’s got great hands. We’ve talked about how good he was offensively. I think people will be impressed more with his defense, because he works hard at it.”

45 comments Add your comment

Arcadio

March 7th, 2011
6:55 pm

He’s batting great and his defensive skills are much better than I expected. I saw the game on Sunday and was very impressed.

justin1

March 7th, 2011
6:56 pm

Don

March 7th, 2011
6:57 pm

I hope he has a good year and I hope people remember he’s just a rookie and do not expect him to carry the team … i.e Heyward. Be patient. He’s going to be a good player.

fej

March 7th, 2011
7:07 pm

Freeman was voted best defensive first baseman last year in intl league. Why is everyone so surprised he is this good defensively?

Don

March 7th, 2011
7:09 pm

Usually guys 6-5 and 243 lbs are not that good defensively at 1B. But he seems nimble. :)

Nate D

March 7th, 2011
7:11 pm

Good it will be huge for us to have a 1st basemen that is ROY and with Uggla and McCann and Heyward ooooh we got hitters. FIRST!

jp

March 7th, 2011
7:53 pm

we should have 3 ROY’s with Heyward, Chipper, and soon to be Freeman. But as of now, we just have one candidate

jp

March 7th, 2011
7:54 pm

If Freddie starts to tear it up, how long will it take Fredi to move him up in the lineup, at least ahead of Alex? Personally, I think he should be moved up anyways cause giving Freddi some protection in the lineup allows him to be aggressive and makes sure pitchers aren’t pitching around him.

bob

March 7th, 2011
7:57 pm

Can he play 3rd when you know who retires?

justin1

March 7th, 2011
8:16 pm

Nope but Prado can…

Bill Stanfill

March 7th, 2011
8:19 pm

Guess it’s time to take my Braves jersey with Francoer’s name on the back of it to Goodwill and order one with Freeman’s name.

eastbound and down

March 7th, 2011
8:19 pm

great stuff. hope he saves some hits for the regular season. it is a shame that big guys like freeman are injury prone. it is well documented, you know.

Mark (another one)

March 7th, 2011
8:51 pm

No, I don’t know. There have been some durable large players, and Freeman is still a kid. I think the world of him as a player but I won’t over predict his numbers and please don’t predict his injuries.

I expect to see Heyward and Freeman in the 3 and 4 slots two years from now. These guys have hit at every level, and they both have power. The 2013 or 14 lineup looks like:

Shafer CF
Prado 3rd
Heyward RF
Freeman 1st
Uggla 2nd
McCann C
LF
SS

wayn-o

March 7th, 2011
9:04 pm

Uggla will always hit inbetween 2 lefties. we got too many of them

count_schemula

March 7th, 2011
9:32 pm

So, is he a Sean Casey type player? Looks big enough to hit for good power, but has a better chance of being a .320 18HR kinda guy? I like doubles. If wants to hit 40 doubles, cool by me.

eastbound and down

March 7th, 2011
9:39 pm

Mark,
that was sarcasm regarding an earlier post regarding Heyward

Joshua

March 7th, 2011
11:31 pm

” He’s batting great and his defensive skills are much better than I expected. I saw the game on Sunday and was very impressed.”

I’m not sure why he defense is better than you expected. Braves people have been talking about his defensive abilities since before last season.

Mitchell

March 7th, 2011
11:41 pm

I could go 3-for-3. I just don’t want to.

Think about that Freddie.

athens brave

March 7th, 2011
11:55 pm

I don’t care if he hits 40 homers or 10 homers. RBI are what I’m looking for. Hit a homer, get an RBI, base hit with a guy at third, get an RBI. Take a walk with the bases loaded? RBI. Give me 15HRs and 90 RBI over 40HRs and 89 RBI any day.

Heisenberg

March 8th, 2011
12:23 am

bob @ 7:57
Can he play 3rd when you know who retires?

He was a 3B earlier in his career before being moved to other side of diamond. But justin1 has correctly identified the heir. After a decade of revolving door at 1B, I am ready for stability at 1B for the next 5 or more years.

Tron5000

March 8th, 2011
1:39 am

@athens brave, what if those 15HR and 90RBI come with 86R, while the 40HR and 89RBI come with 99R? Hitting a home run is good for more than just RBI. Home run hitters are also generally more feared by opposing pitchers, which helps the guys around them see better pitches to hit, leading to more RBI opportunities.

Brave New World

March 8th, 2011
4:49 am

FREDDIE! FREDDIE! FREDDIE!

Goodoleboy58

March 8th, 2011
4:51 am

Tron5000 I think your numbers are a little skewed, I’ll take the 40HR and 89RBI guy, because if he’s capable of 40 HR’s than it’s the other guys in the lineup that aren’t getting on base. He’s producing his own runs, and capable of producing his own runs. What are you going to do the next year when your 15 HR guy doesn’t get as many opportunities to knock people in?

Chopdawg

March 8th, 2011
7:29 am

Count, yeah, he might put up numbers like Casey’s, with a little more power potential

The Dude Abides

March 8th, 2011
8:39 am

Freeman’s going to be a bust, THATS WHAT ALL THE MENTALLY RETARDED PEOPLE SAY.

RBrave

March 8th, 2011
9:00 am

The hitting looks much better overall , especially the rookies. Its nice they are untouched by Pendleton !

IHEARTCARROLL

March 8th, 2011
9:36 am

I don’t understand the questions about can Freeman play 3rd? Do we have more depth at 1st that I don’t know of? If LJ don’t play 3rd, why move FF?

CajunStorm

March 8th, 2011
10:03 am

It’ll be a great season to be a part of folks. Prado, Heyward, Uggla, McCann, some HOF named Larry, a high potential Rook called Freddie, a comeback hopeful in McClouth and oh yeah a 20 HR hitting SS AND a resurgent D. Lowe, steady Hudson, future Ace Tommy, & healthy, potential Ace JJ, AND Kimbrel, Venters, Moylan…..AND a stable of young top of the order arms on the Farm!

Folks…our Travis have talent oozing from their ears!

Oh yeah…Fredi G couldn’t have been a better choice to follow Bobby. Gonna be a GREAT 3-5 year run.

alimc

March 8th, 2011
10:16 am

23 more daaaayyysssss….!!!!!!

Don

March 8th, 2011
10:34 am

If we end up with someone who is really great defensively at Third, it will be a significant CHANGE.

CajunStorm

March 8th, 2011
10:36 am

Bravos…not Travis. Duh..

Ice Cold Beer

March 8th, 2011
11:50 am

Looks like Schaefer is going to be a bust….

manpitt

March 8th, 2011
12:02 pm

wait until Freeman and Heyward get that “dad” strength that comes at age 25-28. They both could be 40 hr guys in 5 years.

ilive4 pennant races

March 8th, 2011
12:02 pm

This is a real relief that he is tearing up big league pitching. After a year with Troy Glaus trying to move around 1st it cant be any worse defensively, so that is not a concern.

patriots75

March 8th, 2011
12:26 pm

Heisenberg,when did he play 3rd? As a pro he has been at 1st and in high school he was a pitcher and played 1st.

Greg

March 8th, 2011
12:53 pm

I’ve been impressed with how gracefully and quickly Freeman bends and reaches. For a big guy he’s quite flexible, which will really be an asset at 1B. We should all expect that somebody’s gonna disappoint at the plate this year (someone always does), but let’s just hope it’s one guy, not two or three. What has me excited is the possibility of Shafer showing his potential and maturing (there’s speed AND power there…wow), or, alternatively, McClouth coming back with the stuff he had in ‘08. If we get one of those two guys going, and everyone else does what they should do, then even if Chipper gets dinged and has to sit out for stretches, we are going to be pretty awesome offensively.

Steve

March 8th, 2011
1:00 pm

I’m with Fej … where is all this ‘questioning’ of his defense coming from.

For the last two years all I have heard about him is he can pick it as well or better than Mark Grace and will hit about the same (which means good contact with below average pop compared to the first baseman around the league). Now, all I am hearing is that people knew he could hit but they weren’t sure about his defense.

Something doesn’t jive here.

Richard Dawson

March 8th, 2011
1:05 pm

Chipper to fans: “Kiss my a**”. Classy.

Richard Dawson

March 8th, 2011
1:08 pm

Brad Komminsk was a very highly-touted farmhand. Wonder if FF will be as good?

Kelly's Johnson

March 8th, 2011
1:10 pm

To Mark @ 8:51PM:

Schafer in the Braves lineup in 2013?

He’ll be flipping burgers by then.

Steve

March 8th, 2011
1:11 pm

patriots75 – You got some facts wrong.

He played 3rd base and pitcher at El Modina High School.
http://www.maxpreps.com/athletes/ZNeeXrYOs0ql2t6HfvM0CA/baseball-spring-07/profile-freddie-freeman.htm

He was drafted as a 3rd baseman, with no pitching hopes.

He played 5 of his first 6 or so games at 3rd base in the minors and made 3 errors. He was promptly and permanently moved to 1st.

I do believe he could play third as those firt games were probably loaded with butterflies. I also believe it is MUCH more difficult to find a quality bat and glove at 3rd than it is at 1st. It’s not neccessarily cheaper to find a first baseman which is why the Braves have had a revolving door due to their salary structure, but it easier.

Bobby Cox

March 8th, 2011
2:06 pm

Jordan Schafer?

Yeah, I remember spring training of 2009. That kid can tear the hide off the ball, in the simulated games.

Time for another drink …

patriots75

March 8th, 2011
2:37 pm

Thanks Steve, i knew he pitched in high school and thought i read he played first, i think he is a better first base than a third, i think he could save the Braves a few runs with hig glove at first.

The Big Cat is back

March 8th, 2011
7:09 pm

Galarrrraga-esque! Freeman will be at least as good as Chambliss, Montenez, or Darrell Evans!

rugburn

March 8th, 2011
7:39 pm

way to go big cat…i’m glad someone besides me remembers darrell as a brave

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