Freddie Freeman has been the face of the franchise in Atlanta, if you believe such things exist, since the departure of Chipper Jones in 2012. Other notable players have come and gone, but none measures up to the longevity, loyalty, or production that Freeman has shown over the past decade. With an impressive career mounting and accolades rolling in, could Freeman find himself with a plaque in Cooperstown one day?
Will Leitch of MLB.com chose one future Hall of Famer from each team in baseball, and for the Braves his selection was Freddie Freeman. A case could certainly be made for Ronald Acuña, but Freeman has a pretty significant head start. Looks examine his case and what could lie ahead.
At 31 years old, Freeman currently owns a career .295/.383/.509 batting line with 240 home runs and 1,541 hits. He also has compiled 38.8 bWAR and a 139 OPS+. In a 10-year career, those numbers are really good, but maybe not Hall of Fame worthy. However, Freeman has become a force over the past five seasons since entering his prime years. Since 2016, the first baseman has averaged 5.5 WAR per 650 plate appearances. This outstanding run culminated with an MVP in 2020, which he earned with relative ease after torching the league for the entirety of the truncated season.
Comparing Freeman to his peers at first base, he currently ranks 46th all-time in JAWS rating when compared to those who shared the position. The lowest-ranked player inducted into the Hall of Fame is Frank Chance, who sits at 36th. Among first baseman who have been inducted, the average WAR is 66.9. This means that Freeman would need 28 WAR over the remainder of his career to reach the average.
If he can repeat his most recent levels of performance Freeman could absolutely reach 66.9 career WAR within the next 5-6 seasons, assuming the league returns to a full schedule going forward. No perfect formula exists when predicting who will be inducted into Cooperstown, but the path for Freeman is clear. Continue raking at an elite clip, and he should find his mug etched on a plaque one day. The Braves also have a team capable of giving Freeman some playoff glory in the coming years and his recent MVP will only serve to strengthen his case.
Whether or not he eventually receives the call, Freddie Freeman has been the perfect ambassador for the Braves over the past ten seasons. His unwavering commitment to a rebuilding team mid-decade has paid off in recent years and we can only hope that his loyalty will pay off with a championship in the near future. Either way, keeping Freddie in Atlanta so that he can compile all kinds of fun stats in Braves uniform is paramount for the club. Freeman deserves it and hopefully he deserves a Hall of Fame induction many years from now.
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