#20 Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
As quite possibly the only position player with a surefire starting gig at the Major League level on Opening Day, Freeman deserves to be in the top 20. The guy rakes. With a massive 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame, Freeman can unload on pitches like few in baseball can, and he is only 21. As a true plus hitter with true plus power, Freeman slashed .319/.378/.521 with 18 bombs and 55 XBH’s in 461 AB’s at Triple-A Gwinnett in 2010 … as a 20-year old. He walked 43 times compared to 84 K’s for a respectable BB/K of around 0.5. Freeman is often criticized for his sub-par strike-zone discipline, but his plate coverage, due to his massive frame, is exceptional, and he can crush an enormous expanse of the zone.
It is generally agreed upon that hitters with below average judgment of the strike zone will struggle immediately upon reaching the Majors because Major League pitchers locate the ball so well. We at the Sombrero are not totally convinced that Freeman has such poor pitch selection. His BB/K certainly suggests otherwise, and his contact ratio clearly indicates that he sees the ball well. Perhaps most important is his staggering percentage of hits that go for extra bases, since it suggests how capable he is of barreling up on pitches. While there likely will be some bumps along the way, Freddie Freeman is destined for a decade or more in the Major Leagues.