May 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves
Oddly, I was planning on making this post today even before last night’s miscue occurred. It could be just what I am seeing, but I have not seen the level of defense from Freddie Freeman that I expected entering the season.
The difficulties I have seen with him have almost all been on balls hit to his right, as well as a few times when he had a ball hit directly at him – citing a play in the Dodger’s series specifically. There have been a few nice dives and stops, but the range is what has been lacking. He picks a good ball at first, but that skill is a part of the duties that come along with being a first basemen. It is hard for me to say a second basemen is a great defender because he turns a quick and concise double play. Picks at first base come more frequently, but I hope my point is understood.
Defensive statistics do not mean a great deal at this point. Mostly due to the fact that things can change and they are result based, which does not help much going forward. Even so, the stats on Freeman do not feel that he has been as good as some suggest to this point in the season.
I certainly do not feel that Freeman’s defense will continue to remain at this below average level. There is absolutely room for improvement. He is not very athletic, but for his size he has a great amount of quickness. This aspect reminds of Mark Teixeira a bit, but I saw more range from Teixeira in his early years and in his tenure with the Braves.
I do not think his current rank of dead last in DRS at -6 is an accurate portrayal of his defense, but the depiction of a defensive wizard is not very accurate either.
Edit: Also, due to the kind comments from last week I will be doing the Twitter/e-mail mailbag tomorrow. Send your questions throughout today and tonight to @Ben_Duronio or firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer the most relevant and interesting ones in a post tomorrow.