David Freese has a lot going for him in his short career.
He’s already an NLCS- and World Series-MVP.
He’s the hometown boy who saved St. Louis’ favorite sports team from elimination, that was only one strike away, and led the team to its eleventh World Series.
And that was all accomplished without even playing a full MLB season yet.
Now Freese might face his most difficult test ever; replacing Albert Pujols. Freese, who had nine hits all spring in 48 at-bats, has 10 in half as many at-bats (24) in five games. He has hit safely in every game and has four multi-hit games
After St. Louis’ favorite son left this past offseason, there was a void of sorts left in the hearts of every Cardinals fan. Pujols was a larger-than-life character that had close ties to the community and was all around a generally good guy. And that was just off the field.
On the field, Pujols won the Rookie of the Year award, and took the Cardinals to three World Series in a period of eight years, winning two of them.
With the big slugger gone, people in St. Louis are looking through the jersey racks trying to find that one name that resonates the most with them. Fan favorites Yadier Molina and Chris Carpenter have contributed so much to the Redbirds in their respective careers, but your old-time fans—as well as your younger ones—are going to be polarized towards David Freese.
Although it might be too early in the season to call it, after a few short games, Freese has shown no World Series hangover. Baseball has been nothing but business for the soon-to-be 29-year-old. With an average over .400, Freese looks like he’s playing at a level that could easily have him averaging over .300 by season’s end.
Having to pick up the slack for Pujols’ exit, Freese has answered the call and has been an RBI machine with increased power. If there’s one way to win over young fans and baseball purists alike, it’s to produce.
As he was in last year’s postseason that led to a World Series, Freese has been a huge part of the Cardinals’ early domination of the MLB.