MLB Draft Redux: The 2007 Dodgers first round picks

Kyle Franzoni
Chris Withrow - Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Chris Withrow - Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

What if the Dodgers had selected Freddie Freeman in the MLB Draft?

The Los Angeles Dodgers have seen a revolving door of first baseman over the years, so knowing that one of the steadiest players at the position over the last decade got away during the draft, it can be hard to accept.

Like Stanton, Freddie Freeman grew up in the shadows of Dodgers Stadium, playing his high school ball in Orange, California. Likewise, Freeman ranked just ahead of Stanton in terms of the high school class of 2007 with Perfect Game (121st overall, 4th among first basemen). The Braves would see through that a bit and select Freeman with the 78th overall pick in 2007 draft

After solid seasons at Rookie and Low-A ball, scouts began to come around on Freeman as a prospect, with Baseball Prospectus noting:

"“His swing has both speed and leverage, and it’s rare to find a player so young with both power and his kind of feel for contact, making it easy to project him as a player who hits tons of home runs while maintaining a high batting average. He’s a surprisingly good defender as well, with soft hands, good footwork, and a great arm.”"

It’s safe to say that they hit that projection on the head. He would get the call-up to Atlanta for a cup of coffee in 2010, but earned the full-time job in 2011 when he hit .282/.346/.448 with 21 home runs and 76 RBI. Over nine seasons with the Braves, he owns 227 home runs and 805 RBI, along with a lifetime slash of .293/.379/.504, a wRC+ of 137, and a fWAR of 34.6.

At the time Freeman was being drafted, the Dodgers were fully committed to James Loney and then transitioned into the Adrian Gonzalez era. No doubt that Freeman would have been an upgrade over both, and would have solidified the position over the last decade. Max Muncy holds the position now, but one has to wonder if Freeman’s presence would have turned the fortunes for the team during the last several years.

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