In a year where many players set career highs in homers, Freddie Freeman nearly matched his total from the previous two seasons combined. He was healthy all year and had 83 extra-base hits and hit over .300 despite a 25 percent strikeout rate. The power spike came from two areas: a 41 percent flyball rate and 44 percent hard-contact rate, both career highs. While lefties and righties did not pose any issues for him in terms of average (.303 vs RHP; .301 vs LHP), 27 of his 34 home runs came against righties and his strikeout rate against southpaws was 28 percent versus 23 percent against righties. He has failed to drive in 100 runs for three consecutive seasons due to injury as well as questionable talent around him, but both showed signs of improvement in 2016.
Freeman went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. He's been scorching hot all spring, hitting .500 through 40 at-bats, but only two of his 20 hits have gone for extra bases so the performance isn't quite as impressive as it looks at first glance. Nonetheless, Freeman will carry a lot of momentum into Opening Day as he looks to build on his breakout 2016.
Freeman went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, his first long ball of the spring, in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. The homer capped off an epic 12-pitch battle against Justin Verlander and proved to be the only run the Braves could muster against Detroit's ace. Freeman's now hitting .484/.543/.613 through 31 spring at-bats and seems more than ready for Opening Day.
Freeman returned to camp with the Braves on Wednesday after playing for Team Canada at the WBC, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. He was immediately plugged back into the lineup Wednesday, going 1-for-3 with a run scored against the Tigers. Freeman is now hitting .474 through 19 spring at-bats and, with an improving lineup around him, should take a run at his second career 100-RBI campaign in 2017.
Freeman went 2-for-3 with three RBI in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. He's 5-for-7 to begin spring training, and Freeman seems intent on repeating or bettering his career-best numbers from 2016, during which he slugged 34 home runs with a .969 OPS. With an improving lineup around him, the 27-year-old should be able to record his second career 100-RBI season.
Freeman will play for Team Canada at the WBC, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The tourney's somewhat lax eligibility rules allow Freeman, an American, to suit up for Canada because his parents were Canadian. He's also the only real MLB star on a young roster, so it could be a quick exit and return to the Braves for the 27-year-old, who'll be looking to build on last season's career-high 34 home runs and .969 OPS in 2017.