During the 2018 season, much was made of Chase Utley’s ‘dad’ leadership role on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, it’s possible that there’s a true successor in the role. Indeed, that player is none other than David Freese.
First, on Blue Heaven Episode 62 Ross Stripling told Clint Pasillas and Brook Smith about Freese’s clubhouse presence. Moreover, Stripling says that Freese has become the Utley figure in this year’s clubhouse. Stripling even mentioned that Kiké Hernandez is glued to Freese this season.
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When you hear a veteran like Turner talk about any player in this manner, it’s worth a pause and a listen. Turner says that the Dodgers have a legend in Freese.
“He’s legend. He’s got that fire that he wants to win, succeed, willed his way to have success. Everything he does on the field, but it is the stuff you don’t see behind the scenes. The ability to just be raw and say what he is thinking. When we lost game 5 of the World Series, it was the first thing I told Andrew Friedman, i said ‘hey we need to bring this guy back.”
Without question – Turner meant that ‘legend’ comment. Freese is the same man who saved the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 World Series and willed them to a championship. In case you forgot, he did this:
At the current time watching Freese play, he seems intent on helping the Dodgers taste champagne in their own right. While it’s great to have a leadership voice, performance is important.
Equally important – Freese currently has a .999 OPS over 140 at-bats this season. This includes an on-base percentage of .407, a sign that he takes a professional at-bat every time he steps in the box.
You can’t put a price on having a veteran like this in your clubhouse. When Turner and Stripling talk about the true leadership trait Freese carries, we can all put a lot of stock in the comments.