AFL position wrap: Corner infielders 

November, 13, 2009
Atlanta Braves first-base prospect Freddie Freeman didn't finish the season well after a late promotion to Double-A, but there was a very good reason for it. He was playing hurt.

Freeman was taken with a second-round pick in the 2007 draft out of a California high school, and was signed by Tom Battista, the same scout who landed the Braves Tommy Hanson. Freeman hit .316 and slugged .521 in his first full professional season at low Class A in 2008. Promoted a level to Myrtle Beach this year, Freeman -- who turned 20 in September -- hit .302 with 25 extra-base hits and a .440 slugging percentage in 70 games. That was good enough to get him a midseason jump to Double-A, where he did just fine initially, hitting over .300 his first few weeks there, but then got hurt and his numbers suffered, as he wound up hitting just .248 in 41 games with little power.

"I hurt my wrist and my hand [at the beginning of August], and I'm not even sure how it happened," Freeman said. "I played through it for about 2½ to 3 weeks, and then I couldn't even pick up the bat anymore it hurt so bad. I tried to play through it, but I felt the effects of it. I couldn't pull the ball, and couldn't drive through anything, so I felt the effects on my average and my body. We finally shut it down, but I feel fine now. I still feel it here and there, but it's mostly 100 percent."