The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to find ways to improve, this time by acquiring former MLB MVP Freddie Freeman. The deal is a six-year deal worth $162 million.
As a fan of the Atlanta Braves, it is going to be tough seeing Freddie in a different uniform. However, as a Fantasy Baseball fan, the move is exciting for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball season.
Freeman was in a great lineup with the Braves but goes into what will be an even deeper Los Angeles lineup.
The Dodgers project as one of the best offenses in all of baseball and will feature three former MVPs.
Freeman might put up insane numbers out West. That should excite Fantasy Baseball managers, and it might push Freeman up in drafts ever so slightly.
Dodgers Sign Freddie Freeman
2021 Season review
Freddie Freeman has been one of the more consistent players, not only for baseball, but for Fantasy Baseball. When Freeman is healthy, one knows what to expect from the first baseman.
A great average, a great OBP, 30+ HR, and plenty of runs and RBIs. He is even capable of stealing 5-10 bases, an under-the-radar impact on his fantasy value.
In 2021, Freeman hit .300/.393/.503 31 HR, 120 R, 83 RBI, & 8 SB. The metrics support the performance, as he put up a .379 wOBA, .416 xwOBA, 135 wRC+, & 133 OPS+. Check out some rankings from baseball savant:
- .320 xBA- 100th percentile
- .416 xwOBA- 98th percentile
- .583 xSLG- 96th percentile
- 12.2 % walk rate- 87th percentile
- 15.4% strikeout rate- 86th percentile
- 46.1% hard hit rate- 77th percentile
- 11.5% barrel rate- 77th percentile
Expect more of the same from Freeman out in Hollywood.
Los Angeles Dodgers Fantasy Impact on Freddie Freeman
Currently, with an ADP of 16.2, Freeman probably cannot move too much higher. He steals more bases, but Freeman's home runs project to sit in the mid-30s, rather the 40s which limits his upside. Still, the hype of Freeman and emotional high of adding him to the Dodgers offense could mean fantasy managers get antsy. It should not shock if Freeman snuck into the first round of some drafts.
The great thing about drafting a guy like Freeman is he is one of the safest players in the entire draft. His ceiling may be a tick below the elite guys, but there is a strong argument he has the highest floor of anyone in the league. If he remains healthy, one can expect top-end production.
Here are the current projections systems:
- ZiPS DC: .294/.386/.512 31 HR, 106 R, 97 RBI, 7 SB
- Steamer: .291/.389/.512 29 HR, 100 R, 94 RBI, 6 SB
- THE BAT: .303/.401/.535 30 HR, 96 R, 97 RBI, 7 SB
Pretty consistent numbers across projection models. Strong average and OBP plus 100 runs plus 90-95 RBI is the calling card. Add in the 5-8 SB and Freeman is right in line for what we expect every season. Consistency.
However, the numbers have not been updated with him going to the Dodgers, and it will be interesting to see how much this move will affect the numbers. Personally, I see the counting stats getting a tick upward.
Freeman could easily put up MVP and Fantasy Baseball MVP numbers. A high average/OBP, 30-35 HR, 110 runs, 110 RBI, and 8 SB season is not out of the question.
Los Angeles Dodgers Outlook with Freddie Freeman
Adding a former MVP to a team that won 106 games the year prior is huge. The Dodgers did lose Corey Seager and Max Scherzer which is not to be taken lightly, but whenever a team adds a player like Freddie Freeman the team gets better.
Trea Turner will slide to short in favor of Seager, Max Muncy can transition to second, and Freeman will handle first. The offense and defense of the Dodgers will be just fine and will be an issue for opposing pitching staffs on any given night.
The issue will be with the pitching staff, as they lost Max Scherzer. At the top, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias will be a formidable duo, and veteran Clayton Kershaw should be a reliable arm. After that, Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney are projected to be the 4th and 5th starters.
There are a few prospects close, and Dustin May hopefully returns from injury at some point this season, but if there was a weakness to highlight it would be the backend of the rotation.
The bullpen looks to be solid, and they might still reunite with Kenley Jansen. However, the bullpen is usually the easiest to fix for a competing team.
The Dodgers will be the favorites to win the NL West and retake the crown from the San Francisco Giants. The Giants should still be good, and the Padres want to take that next step, meaning the West could feature a tight race.
The Dodgers will also be one of the favorites, along with Freeman's old team the Braves, to win the NL. Could they meet in October?
Adding a former MVP feels unfair for the Dodgers lineup, but it sure feels like it could be a lot of fun for Fantasy Baseball in 2022.
Check out the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!