WESLEY FREEMAN, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: January 29, 1990
Height: 6′ 4″
Drafted: 16th Round, 474th Overall, 2008
High School: All Saints Academy (Winter Haven, FL)
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Baseball America touted Freeman as a potential five-tool player with speed, strength and athleticism, and ranked him 13th among Florida prospects in a good year for the state. Various sources, however, stated that he had a serious hitch in his swing that would have to be corrected for him to hit as a pro. He’s shown the advertised athletic ability, including a strong arm, and probably could play some in center at higher levels, although he’s best suited to right field.
After struggling to make contact through mid-June of 2012, Freeman voluntarily retired. He was reinstated, however, prior to the 2015 season.
Got in a little action toward the end of the GCL season, going 4-for-22.
Back in the GCL, Freeman had major problems making contact, fanning in nearly 40% of his ABs. On the plus side, he showed some power. He played both right and center.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Pirates moved Freeman up to West Virginia to open 2010 as the starting rightfielder. The move didn’t work out at all, as he was badly overmatched at the plate, striking out in over half his at-bats. One plus was that he played well defensively, showing off his arm. An ankle injury ended his time in low A in early May. He eventually reappeared in the GCL and struggled just as much there.
Freeman opened at State College and, initially, it was more of the same. He posted a .508 OPS in June, but suddenly started hitting around mid-July. He then posted an OPS over 1.000 in August. He hit for good power and also did well stealing bases. Plate discipline remained an issue, but he eventually showed improvement there: he had two walks and 29 Ks the first two months, but seven and 22 after that. He moved up to West Virginia for five games at the end of the year.
The Pirates sent Freeman to Bradenton, where he primarily played left, but the struggles returned as he fanned in a third of his at-bats. In mid-June, the Pirates moved him down to West Virginia, but he retired after one game there.
Freeman remained out of pro ball for two years.
The Pirates reinstated Freeman prior to the 2015 season and he was in minicamp in January 2015. He was in competition for a backup outfield role at Bradenton, but his spring was interrupted by a knee injury that was expected to keep him out of action for 4-6 weeks.
|2015: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $150,000
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2016
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 6, 2008: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 16th round, 474th overall pick; signed on August 8.|