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Braves season in review: first base

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Freddie Freeman is good at baseball.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Freddie Freeman is a really good baseball player.

The Braves first baseman is relishing in the prime of his career, and has embraced becoming the face of the franchise as it moves into SunTrust Park next spring. He looks comfortable in a Braves uniform and the statistics backed that up in 2016.

Freeman silenced concerns before the season whether or not his wrist would hold up after struggling with an injury in 2015, and played in 158 games this year. But through April 24, Freeman was hitting just .177, before he turned it on and put together an incredible season.

(For trivia purposes, Blake Lalli, Nick Markakis and Kelly Johnson each started one game at first base.)

It was so good that he did something only “the true home run king” had ever done previously in franchise history.

Freeman finished the season on a tear, with a 30-game hitting streak from Aug. 24 through Sept. 28. The streak was tops in the major leagues throughout the year, and during that stretch, Freeman hit .384 with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs. He drew 22 walks in that stretch, and the Braves even won 19 of those 30 games.

His final stat line included career highs of 34 homers, 178 hits, 43 doubles, a .569 slugging percentage, .968 OPS, 6 triples and 6 stolen bases (he’s not fast). 2016 was also the first time he cracked the .400 mark with on-base percentage.

Freeman also became a dad for the first time this year, so things seem to be trending up in all aspects of life for the gregarious first baseman. The Braves franchise has hitched its wagons to the guy and he has not disappointed. He will lead a Braves team almost ready to turn the corner into a new ballpark in 2017 and he did everything in 2016 to prove the organization correct in believing in him.