Back on July 23rd, I profiled Wes Freeman, a day after he hit two home runs in a single game. I talked about how Freeman was very raw, with power being the only part of his game, paired with an alarming amount of strikeouts. At the time I didn’t know that the two homer game was just Freeman heating up. Freeman went 14-for-39 over his next ten games, with three more homers, and 11 other extra base hits. That raised the question as to whether he was climbing in to the top 50. If Freeman made the top 50, it would be due to his skills, and not a ten game hot streak in the middle of a disappointing career. However, as I noted, if Freeman kept this up, it would be a great sign that he was starting to turn things around.
So far, Freeman has kept this up. Since asking whether he should be a top 50 prospect, Freeman has gone 15-for-35 at the plate, with six extra base hits, including a 4-for-5 performance last night with three doubles. He’s currently 21-for-47 in an 11 game hitting streak. Even better, during that streak he’s drawn six walks, and has struck out seven times. The big concern with Freeman has always been his strikeouts. He’s made some great strides this year, going from a 42.2% strikeout rate in the GCL last year, to a 24.7% rate this year. There was also a concern about his walks, as he only had two on the season on July 20th, compared to 22 strikeouts in 63 at-bats.
Since his hot streak started on July 20th, Freeman has put up a .390/.432/.695 line in 82 at-bats, with an 18.3% strikeout rate. During his current hitting streak, he has a .447/.509/.702 line in 47 at-bats, with a 14.9% strikeout rate. Prior to this hot streak, Freeman had a .169/.197/.237 line in 59 at-bats, with a 35.6% strikeout rate.
Putting things in perspective, it’s obviously great to see Freeman doing so well. The organization lacks power hitting prospects, and Freeman is a potential power hitting prospect. That said, it’s still a small sample size. It’s encouraging to see the streak continue, as it indicates that Freeman has made an adjustment. That’s especially true when it comes to the strikeouts. You also have to consider that Freeman is doing this in short season A-ball at the age of 21. Had he gone to college in 2008, rather than signing as a 16th round pick, he would probably be in short season A-ball right now as a middle round draft pick, and his overall .296/.336/.504 line wouldn’t be overly impressive. At best, he’s a 45-50 prospect at the moment. That can change with continued success at the plate, but the big change will come when we see what he can do at the higher levels.Pirates Prospects is FREE today in honor of the Wild Card game. You get special access to all of our content, which is typically reserved only for subscribers. We cover the Pirates 365 days a year, with live coverage all throughout the playoffs, and off-season coverage of the minor league players in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Leagues. During the season we average well over 6 articles per day on the Pirates. This is the best stop if you're a hardcore Pirates fan, and the subscription prices are very low.
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