This is Bill James. We’re going to be examining Mr. James’ projections for most of the everyday Braves’ on the 2012 club. Today we’ll take a look at Freddie Freeman. All projection data gathered from the fine folks at FanGraphs.
Bill James 2012 Freddie Freeman Projection:
157 Games Played, 592 AB, 161 hits, 32 doubles, 0 triples, 20 HR, 70 runs, 82 RBI, 50 BB, 115 K, 4 SB, .286 AVG, .350/.459/.809
The key with any second year player who enjoyed success as a rookie is the ability to be able to sustain. The book is out on how to get you out now. Word is leaking in your division of your perceived weaknesses or flaws and word quickly travels fast to the rest of baseball with the proof being in the form of video tape, data, or advanced scouting tools.
As we all saw last year with Jason Heyward, there’s no one who is immune to the often discussed ‘sophomore slump’. By looking at the Bill James projection for Freddie Freeman’s upcoming season, he believes Freeman will be able to escape a tough second year campaign with a solid and respectable line of production.
I was very surprised at the plate maturity Freeman displayed last year. I didn’t expect anything close to his production as a rookie and I’m sure many within the Atlanta organization felt the same way. He had a year that in many ways was as good or better than Jason Heyward’s 2010 rookie season, despite not being quite as heralded of a prospect.
Freeman went .346/.448/.795 as a rookie last season and cracked 21 home runs. He struck out over 140 times and his K rate was 22.4%. One big improvement that James sees coming for Freeman lies within those strikeouts. James expects the young first baseman to strike out reasonably less in 2012, lowering his K rate to 19.4%.
If you believe in Bill James, his message to us about Freddie Freeman’s sophomore season is that his contact rate improvement will be the biggest factor in keeping this young player on the right track in his second full big league season.