Freddie Freeman Atlanta Braves

Age: 32 (September 12, 1989) | 6' 5" | 220lbs. | Bats: Left 1B-58 DH-2 PH-1
ATL AAA 2017 2 3 1 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .800 .667 40 20 1.00 n/a
ATL NL 2017 117 440 84 135 65 95 35 2 28 71 8 5 .307 .403 .586 13 18 .335 35/24/41 27 26
ATL NL 2018 162 618 94 191 76 132 44 4 23 98 10 3 .309 .388 .505 11 19 .358 36/32/31 34 32
ATL NL 2019 158 597 113 176 87 127 34 2 38 121 6 3 .295 .389 .549 13 18 .318 38/28/34 33 32
ATL NL 2020 60 214 51 73 45 37 23 1 13 53 2 0 .341 .462 .640 17 14 .366 32/31/37 44 43
ATL NL 2021 146 549 109 163 79 96 22 2 30 78 8 3 .297 .390 .508 12 15 .313 43/24/33 27 27
Career 12yrs 1552 5716 958 1687 770 1301 364 25 270 936 53 24 .295 .383 .509 12 20 .339 n/a
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Lots of interesting comparisons here.

Also a big difference: how awful Freddie felt at the start of the season.

He makes a great suggestion at the end for the writers.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 15 '20

There seems to have been a backlash against WAR. Two shy of unanimous.

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 13 '20

If Abreu wins and Freeman doesn't...

NL MVP Candidates

Mookie BettsFreddie FreemanManny Machado


Mookie Betts 3.37
Freddie Freeman 2.89
Manny Machado 2.82

Win Prob Added

Freddie Freeman 2.7
Mookie Betts 2.1
Manny Machado 0.6

On-Base Pct

Freddie Freeman .462
Manny Machado .370
Mookie Betts .366

Slugging Pct

Freddie Freeman .640
Manny Machado .580
Mookie Betts .562

Freddie Freeman Spotlight

Highest OPS from August 9, 2020 to the end of the regular season (min. 2 PA/team game)

Freddie FreemanATL2021.220
Juan SotoWSN1841.187
Marcell OzunaATL2061.125
Jose AbreuCHW1951.099
Trea TurnerWSN2121.082

See the full list at's Daily Game Log Finder

Alex Patton Alex
Nov 12 '20

There's a positional adjustment down for 1B defense.  Something less for LF, something less for RF.  The rest all have positive adjustments up.  I remember the general issues from when the systems were all published, but that 1.3 wins for his career on defense is compared to all other positions, not merely first baseman.  That's the vaguery and problem with it as a stat.  Plus adding oWAR and dWAR don't equal bWAR, which makes it more of a weird issue.  Here's how Fangraphs explains positional adjustments.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 25 '20

But doesn't that point very directly to the problem? The best first basemen actually lose games with their gloves over the course of their careers? How can "neutrality in a stat" be a good thing?

I agree with your point about scooping balls out of the dirt; almost everyone who plays first is good at that. And I agree that Keith Hernandez was the gold standard for all the other things.

In his 17 year-career he won 1.3 games over his replacement with his play in the field. Anyone who watched a lot of Mets games (and  a lot of Cardinals games) knows that's not true.

I go all the way back to Vic Power (his entire career). In 1,627 games played over 12 seasons, he gets a -0.8 dWAR.

His bat wasn't what kept him in the lineup (career OPS: 97). But his career oWAR (9.3) makes the claim that he won more games with his bat, compared to a replacement first baseman, than his glove.

WAR is a great stat; that's why we keep talking about it. But it can and should be improved. If I had an MVP ballot, I hope I wouldn't lean on such a rickety crutch to defend putting Betts ahead of Freeman.

I wouldn't put Juan Soto first, but I'd have him second. 

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 25 '20 gives Giambi -19.7 dWAR and Teixeira a neutral -0.6 over their careers.  Teixeria was a very good defensive 1B.  Giambi did cost runs.  Considering the positional adjustment at 1B for defense, Teixeiria's neutrality in that stat is a good thing. Most of the best 1B defenders are in the low negative range over their careers.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 25 '20

I have no idea what Jason Giambi's fielding stats were when he played 1B for the Yanks, but it SEEMED like a couple of plays a week (at least) weren't getting made . . and when they signed Teixeira, it was like, "Oh, THAT's what a competent fielding first baseman looks like."

Mike Dean TMU2009
Oct 25 '20

It's funny that every broadcaster talks about how their team's first baseman saves dozens of errors a season for his other infielders, but they act like they are the only first baseman who does it.  The fact is, they all do it competently, so it's part of the replacement value.  The real plus value for first basemen is their range and their ability to throw to other bases to add outs that another first baseman wouldn't.  It's the difference that made Keith Hernandez head and shoulders ahead of everyone else.  Most first basemen are essential neutral.  They hardly add any outs to the ledger compared to their peers.

In right, Betts makes a pay every third day that no other RF would have made. Those extra outs makes a big difference over the course of the season.

It's been a while since I looked at the defensive spectrum value as baseline for WAR, but I think it goes something like this:


Catcher is an odd duck in that range factor isn't included and it's sometimes left of SS and sometimes right.  I've also seen CF and 2B considered equal at times.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 24 '20

Freddie's not in the Best Player in Baseball conversation, and he shouldn't be, but, if I had the vote, he'd be at the top of my ballot for NL MVP.

Which, of course, is casus belli if you believe in WAR.


Mookie Betts 3.4

Freddie Freeman 2.9

Not even close.


Mookie Betts 0.8

Freddie Freeman -0.3

Therein lies the difference.

No one questions that Mookie is an outstanding right fielder. And as far as I know, everyone thinks Freddie is at least a very good first baseman. Far better than average.

So why the negative dWAR?

It's been patiently explained to me by others at this site that WAR gives almost all first baseman negative values on defense.

That's the explanation. That's the argument.

Is it a valid argument? As I see it, in almost every game I watch beginning to end, the first baseman plays an integral part in the team's defense. Scooping up bad throws, tagging baseunners on bad throws, diving to stop would-be extra base hits, starting the difficut 3-6-3 (or 1) DP, making the correct call on the cut-offs, defending the increasingly rare bunt.

Carlos Santana does all that and in addition his arm is such that he goes out to get the relay on throws from right. What's his WAR this year?


What was his WAR last year -0.7

What's his career dWAR?


What's Freeman's career dWAR?


Not fair, pure and simple. Not valid.

It's quite true that Freeman and Santana would be liabilities as right fielders; equally true that Betts would be outstanding at every position.

But so what? WAR supposedly measures wins above replacement at the position you played. In terms of the importance in game outcomes, I'd rank catcher first, shortstop second, center field and second base tied for third, third base and first base tied for next, right field next, left field last. I actually think that over the course of the season, the team's first baseman has more influence on the outcome of games than the team's right fielder.

My opinion, to be sure. I can't begin to back it up with numbers.

Speaking of MVP votes, here's another question.

Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts didn't face the same pitcher this year during the regular season. Not once. 

If we really want to be fair, shouldn't we be voting for three different MVPs. One for the AL and NL East combined, another for the AL and NL Central combined, another for the AL and NL West combined.

Six different different MVPs might be even more fair but that's going too far.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 24 '20

Back on the Fourth of July, Freddie wasn't fantasizing about being Baseball America's Player of the Year.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 22 '20