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« Under the Weather, Lincecum Blanks Phillies | Main | Missing: Joel Pineiro's Grounders, Control »

Freddie Freeman Finds His Power Stroke

Freddie Freeman won't turn 22 until September, but Atlanta's rookie first baseman is already producing like a veteran. After last night's 3-for-5 showing versus the Pirates, Freeman has a .287 batting average, a .360 on-base percentage and a .474 slugging percentage. He's besting the cumulative line for major league first basemen in all three triple-slash categories (.267/.342/.442), and he has gone on a serious power binge since a mild spring:

April: .163 Isolated Power (slugging percentage minus batting average)

May: .118 ISO

June: .202 ISO

July: .267 ISO

Freeman crushed pitches on the inner half of the strike zone in April and May, but he didn't do much damage on low or outside pitches:

Freeman's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, April-May 2011

That was a problem, considering that pitchers most often tossed him stuff low and away:

 Frequency of opponents' pitch location vs. Freeman, April-May 2011 Pitchers continue to throw Freeman low-and-away pitches...

 Frequency of opponents' pitch location vs. Freeman, June-July 2011

But the rookie has seemingly adjusted, drilling pitches at the knees and on the outer half...

Freeman's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, June-July 2011

Covering the low and outer portions of the zone has made the lefty-swinging Freeman an all-fields slugger. Since June, he has hit 10 home runs and 13 doubles. Five of those homers were hit two center field, and two to left field. Nine of Freeman's doubles were sliced to the opposite field, and one was hit to center. The Braves must be thrilled that Freeman has shown the ability to adapt to the scouting reports that teams have on him, punching low and outer-half pitches to center and left field for extra bases.

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