Freddie Freeman has appeared in all 62 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, consistently putting together quality at-bats out of the two-hole.
But there is a glaring number in Freeman’s statistics: five. That’s how many home runs he has hit this season.
In the eyes of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, there is nothing to worry about. But Freeman remains intent on searching to find his power-hitting stroke.
“My swing’s not where I want it to be right now,” Freeman said in a story published by The Athletic. “(I’m) not hitting balls in the air. It’s just been line drives and groundballs right now. I’ve hit some balls I thought were homers, but they didn’t go out. But that’s … everyone’s got the same ball.”
Freeman says he feels like his hot streak is coming.
“I feel like I’m gonna get hot,” Freeman said. “I’m still doing OK, and obviously not what I want. But I’m hovering and treading water. In this game, it’s mostly, 85% is treading water and then you get hot for about 13% of the time and you get cold for the other 2% of the time. So you’re just trying to tread water as much as you can until you get hot.”
Despite the lack of home runs, Freeman has hit 21 doubles and will most likely fly past his total of 25 from last season. He is hitting balls in the air — his 36% flyball rate is higher than his career rate of 35.3% (per Fangraphs). They just aren’t flying out of the park.
“I think it’s an oddity,” Roberts said. “And I think we all know why the first couple months. … There’s been a handful of balls that he’s hit to left field and he didn’t get rewarded. Not even a double. He got nothing. He’s not going to change what he does. And I hope he doesn’t.”
Last season, Freeman overcame a similar start, but he finished the season batting .300, launched 31 home runs and eventually helped the Atlanta Braves to the World Series title.
The turn is coming. Freeman just has to keep grinding.
“The back of the baseball card doesn’t lie,” Roberts said. “It’ll be right where it needs to be.”
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