Freeman destined for postseason recognition

Associated PressAtlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman looks on while standing at the on deck circle during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Baltimore.

Mr. Consistency may soon become Mr. Valuable Player if the final week plays out like the last month has gone for Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.

The player many consider is under valued and under appreciated every season may soon get the recognition he deserves as a top 5 player in baseball.

In this truncated season, Freeman is on a tear at the plate, which coincides with the Braves sporting one of the best lineups it's ever had and especially is one of the best in baseball.

Following last Friday's 15-2 dismantling of the New York Mets, Freeman was third in the majors with a .359 batting average, second in RBIs with 48, third in hits with 66, second in runs with 44, first in doubles with 20, third in total bases with 121, tied for third in walks with 37, second in on-base percentage at .471 and tied for third in WAR with a 2.6 mark.

He's not alone at the top for National League Most Valuable Player consideration. Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. are Freeman's closest competitors. But I believe Freeman is destined for it this year.

Consider that Freeman is just a couple of months removed from his bout with COVID-19 in July, just a few weeks before Major League Baseball started this season. While the virus appears to affect people differently, there was no doubt the impact it had on Freeman. Freeman spiked a fever so bad that he prayed, “Please don't take me.”

The perennial All-Star recovered and is having one of the best seasons of his career. Yes, it's a shortened season and a year unlike we have ever seen. The season will only last two months. Its span of 60 games is almost one-third the length of a normal season. But that should not in any way diminish Freeman's accomplishments this year.

If he finishes the season as the National League Most Valuable Player, it will be well deserved and makes you wonder what he could have accomplished over a 162-game schedule. It'd be fun to think and dream about. 

Amid a global pandemic, that's all we're left with. Enjoy the here and now. Understand the significance of what we're seeing with Freeman's year at the plate. Hopefully, the rest of Major League Baseball will. It could; no, it should lead to a special award at the end of the season.

Clint Thompson is a special contributor to the Valdosta Daily Times.

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