2011 Key Player: David Freese
Corpus Christie, TX native David Freese has become synonymous with freak injuries and the phrase “if he stays healthy”. A young man who some would say simply has bad luck when it comes to running bases, lifting weights, rehabbing injuries, or even attending hockey games, Freese is off to a very nice spring so far in 2011. A quick look at his (spring training) numbers versus last year tell quite the story:
|2010:||26 G||75 AB||22 H||34 TB||.293 AVG||.372 OBP||.453 SLG||15 K|
|2011:||9 G||21 AB||8 H||15 TB||.381 AVG||.381 OBP||.714 SLG||3 K|
In roughly ⅓ of the games & at bats of his 2010 spring training campaign, Freese has already amassed more than a third of his hit total from last year, and nearly half of his total bases total. He’s done so while raising both his batting average (by nearly 100 points), and a slightly higher OBP. His slugging percentage is way UP, while his strikeouts are way DOWN. It sure looks like the power is there this year…and that’s important.
I picked up David Freese off the waiver wire in my fantasy league early last season, before he got hurt. In my mind, it stood to reason that a guy hitting behind Matt Holliday, who was hitting behind Albert Pujols was going to see a lot of pitches to hit. Now add Berkman to that already dangerous lineup, and I have to believe that we’re going to see some real offensive production from 3B this season out of Freese. He should certainly have his chances to put up the numbers, given the Cards projected lineup day in-day out (a relative term in Cardinal nation).
I think for David to make his mark on the big leagues, he’s going to have to carpe de 2011 season, as the questions surrounding Berkman & the contract of our first baseman loom large, when considering what the 2012 lineup could look like. A lot can change in a very short time, from an offensive production standpoint when the lineup you’re in changes…ask Ryan Ludwick. Freese will have plenty of chances to prove that he is who we’ve thought he can be. I would strongly suggest that he make the most of this opportunity, because as you well know, if you’ve been paying attention, Matt Carpenter doesn’t seem to be too far behind. Freese can hold down the starting third base job and be a key part of this team in 2011…”if he stays healthy”.