Should Dodgers fans be worried about Freddie Freeman’s power struggles?
Los Angeles Dodgers fans have been doing a lot of worrying lately, whether it’s about Craig Kimbrel’s stability as closer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urías being affected by last year’s workload, Max Muncy’s elbow issue, or Cody Bellinger’s continued struggles. The list goes on and on.
Now, some concerns about Freddie Freeman have popped up. The Dodgers’ marquee free agent signing this past offseason, at this very moment, has the lowest slugging percentage (.438), OPS (.805) and OPS+ (124) since 2012.
Many other positives remain, though. He’s still barely striking out (36 times in 56 games), he remains a doubles MACHINE (he has 20 already), and his defense is still top notch.
But four home runs through two months? Seems a bit problematic. And if you split his stats over the last 41 games, it’s not exactly pleasant.
Overall, Freeman has 25 extra-base hits on the season (out of 62 hits total), meaning he’s snagging two or more bags 40% of the time. That’s actually … pretty damn good! During his All-Star 2021 campaign, extra-base hits totaled 32.2% of his offensive production; dating back to 2020, 2019 and 2018, his numbers in that department were 50.6%, 42% and 37.1%.
Only his lack of home runs is “alarming,” if you can even say that. And if “due theory” were to ever have an appropriate application, it’d be with Freeman’s current power situation.
No need to worry about Freddie Freeman, Dodgers fans!
First, a quick look at his advanced metrics via Baseball Savant:
- 81st percentile in average exit velocity
- 86th percentile in max exit velocity
- 67th percentile in hard hit percentage
- 94th percentile in expected slugging percentage
- 72nd percentile in barrel percentage
- 91st percentile in expected batting average (his actual batting average is “low” at .283 right now)
The only stat to express worry over is how Dodger Stadium has been extremely hitter-friendly this season. But the splits will remind you that Freeman has performed better in LA to the tune of a .289 average (vs .278 on the road) and .823 OPS (.789 on the road). Truth be told, he’s really only had an awful one-week stretch to start the month of June, which has brought his totals down.
Freeman is in the top 6% of MLB in expected slugging percentage and expected weighted on-base percentage despite hitting .161 and slugging .194 over the past week, further suggesting that a positive regression to the mean is in store for the 32-year-old.
If Dodgers fans can worry about one fewer thing, it’s Freeman’s power numbers. It’s only a matter of time before they normalize.