The Dodgers obviously knew what they were getting into when they signed Freddie Freeman to a free-agent deal. They knew that his bat is elite and the contact capabilities are wild. You add in the Gold Glove-caliber glove over at first base, and they have their guy.
But one underrated part of his game is the baserunning. Freddie is not the fastest guy on any team in baseball, probably not at any level. He’s not going to light up the basepaths with blazing footspeed, averaging just 26.6 feet per second on his sprint speed. That ranks 5th worst on the Dodgers.
But what he does have on the basepaths is IQ. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke about it, and he agreed that he was very similar to Rockies Hall of Famer Larry Walker. The efficiency with which he runs the bases is just unparalleled. (quotes via OC Register)
“That’s a fair comp. He runs the bases well, efficient, cutting the turns, smart. That’s a very good comp. And Larry was one of the best I’ve ever seen.”
Walker wasn’t the fastest guy in the world, but he knew when and how to use his legs. That resulted in him stealing over 200 bases in his career and scoring over 1300 runs. The Dodgers have something very similar with Freddie.
But that’s just who he is. Freddie is so good at so many things that some parts of his game are often overlooked. The Dodgers got a good one when they went out and stole him away from Atlanta, and he’s going to be good for quite some time.