Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Freddie or Not


Freddie Freeman, the active leader in doubles, is 10 away from lapping the 500 doubles mark. Now, I'm not saying that this is guaranteeing him Hall of Fame admission, but he's crossing this mark at 34. There is a serious possibility that Freddie Freeman could be extremely high on the all-time career doubles list by the time he retires. 

Now, this is completely besides the fact that Freeman is the current active leader in hits. Which is also kinda crazy if you think about it, because Freeman passed 2000 last year, thanks to a 200+ hit campaign, all the more rare these days, and because so many more people are less contact-friendly on a consistent basis, that's the high bar in the MLB. There aren't a ton of true candidates to cross 3000 hits by the end of their career that seem sure. It's really just Freeman, Jose Altuve and honestly Mookie Betts at this point. Even Trout is arcing away from 3000 with all this time he's missing. But Freeman is the surest one, because he's still an excellent contact hitter at 34.

I think the biggest example of Freeman's all-time talent is that this is technically a down year for the veteran 1st baseman, yet he's still hitting .293 with 65 hits, 35 RBIs and 7 homers. Giving him only a 2.1 WAR after two months. These aren't bad numbers, but compared with previous career marks and the higher heights that Betts and Ohtani are hitting, it's just plain 'great'. That is what happens when you get three of the best hitters in baseball on one lineup- a great season from one will look inadequate if the other two are just plain doing better. 

Freeman is one of three NL first baseman that I can confidently say are headed to Cooperstown in less than a decade, though I think Freeman himself might have the most impressive stats of them all. Contact consistency, a career .300 average, and, of course, those doubles. Harper may have the biggest exclamation point but even he wasn't as consistent as Freeman. And also, Freeman has a ring.

The Dodgers are back where they should be, speeding ahead in first. Somehow this rotation is sturdy enough with them, even with loose ends like Gavin Stone and a rehabbing Walker Buehler. Evan Phillips is back and still isn't giving up many runs at all. Blake Treinen's finally active again and hasn't given up a run since. Miguel Rojas is returning to his Marlins highs in a fill-in role. And, of course, Ohtani, Betts and Freeman is still a killer center. 

As it stands, the Dodgers are exactly what people thought they'd be. The trick now is defying the other expectations.

Coming Tomorrow- The catcher that launched a thousand rookies.

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