March 6, 2012; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) bats in the first inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Thoughts on Freddie Freeman

Since I am unable to watch the Spring Training games (gotta love school) I have been doing a lot of reading lately and I came across an extremely interesting fanpost at SB Nation’s Talking Chop courtesy of v2micca.

What caught my attention was not so much Freeman’s swinging mechanics, but one of the comments that mentioned Freeman’s huge bench press gain this off season. I had heard about it before but didn’t really think much of it at the time.

Apparently Freddie Freeman has gone from a 160 bench max to around a 260 bench max. That’s a huge gain, and like the commenter said shows that this is probably the first time he has really worked out in the gym but what effects will it have on his swing. Bench isn’t the best thing for your swing but getting bigger and stronger doesn’t automatically hurt you.

I’m going to bring up a guy that always brings mixed results with Braves fans. Jeff Francoeur. Ol’ Frenchy had a nice couple of seasons with the Braves before he decided to bulk up in the offseason (and also turn down a pretty good deal that he probably would take today) and try to hit for more power. We all know how that turned out and soon Frenchy was out of town.

Before you call me crazy for comparing Frenchy to Freeman let me tell you that I am definitely not. I bring up Francoeur because him and Freddie are completely different hitters. Freeman is known for his ability to hit the ball all over the field and Francoeur was more of a pull hitter. Their batted ball profiles are also extremely different with Freeman hitting more line drives, less fly balls and a higher HR/FB ration than Jeff.

Here are some links to their swings as well if you want to be like Ethan Purser and scout the mechanics.

Freddie Freeman Swing

Jeff Francoeur Swing

Freeman is obviously much better at going with the pitch and hitting oppo. If you look at where the pitch is on Francoeur you will see that it is a low and outside breaking ball that he still tries to pull.

So hopefully Freeman’s better approach to hitting will allow him to add a lot of muscle (he definitely did) and not lose his swing throughout the season. It will be something to watch out for this season because if he can keep his swing intact he might be pushing 30 home runs. I would rather him focus on line drives and driving the ball around the park however because if he starts trying to hit more homeruns his strikeouts will increase and he already does that quite a bit.

So be on the lookout for Freddie Freeman this season, let me know what you think about him gaining weight, and his approach to hitting.


If you want to hear even more of my Braves thoughts follow me on Twitter @CarlosCollazoTT and be sure to like Tomahawk Take on Facebook for polls, questions, and site info.

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman

  • aryanspecial

    If you can hit, you can hit. Ask Miguel Cabrera. He has to be 50 pounds heavier than he was for the Marlins. I think this is a good thing. It might take him a little while to get going, but some of those line drives will leave the park now. He’s a talented hitter. And ofcourse I wouldn’t mind seeing 30 bombs from 1st base again. Those McGriff and Gallarraga days sure were nice.

  • Big Bad Bob

    If I remember correctly, Freeman didn’t “bulk-up” during the off-season. He gained a few pounds, but no one has mentioned that his physique is any different than it was this time last year. 
    Adding muscle is never bad unless overdone to the extreme.
    It’s true that “you can’t pull fat”, but having a stonger set of pecs, triceps etc. can’t be bad, if there is no great increase in the size of the muscles. The only concern lies in over doing one’s routine weight lifting to the point that the sheer bulk interferes with the swing mechanics.
    From what I have heard and seen, Freeman may have added muscle, by reducing fat, while retaining his same overall physique.

  • aryanspecial

    I’ve always considered “bulking up” as adding muscle moreso than weight. Maybe I got it wrong. Or maybe my example of Cabrera wasn’t the right one to make. Maybe Jim Thome would be better. He was a slimmer player when he got started with Cleveland. He was a solid hitter (even remember him at 3B) but the power numbers blew up when he bulked up. It wasn’t a tremendous difference but a noticeable one. I’d like to see Freddie continue to do the same.

  • CarlosCollazo

    He does look a bit bigger this Spring than he did last season. I would love for the HR number to go up because of it.