Atlanta Braves news: how much mantle space does Freddie Freeman have?

Atlanta Braves OF/DH Marcell Ozuna with first baseman Freddie Freeman. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves OF/DH Marcell Ozuna with first baseman Freddie Freeman. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Braves first baseman is finally getting due recognition for a heckuva season.

Having a large fireplace in a California home might not be the best idea these days, but Freddie Freeman‘s standout season for the Atlanta Braves is definitely bringing in some serious hardware worth displaying on his mantle — if he’s got the space.

The major MLB/BBWAA awards won’t start rolling out until the off-season becomes “official” after next week, but other outlets are already making their preferences known, and many have been pointing in Freeman’s direction — seemingly on a daily basis.

Thus far, here are the awards we know about:

The Baseball Digest award is a single award for all of MLB and comes via a 17-member panel of “writers, broadcasters, former players, managers, and executives” (not sure how you can get multiple numbers of each of those categories and still be under 18 members, but there ya go).

Among that group, Freeman received nearly half of the 1st-place votes — 8 of the 17 — with Jose Abreu being the runner-up with 4.

The Atlanta Braves got another vote here as Marcell Ozuna got a first-place nod as well.

The Player’s Choice award has to be particularly satisfying for the affable Freeman:  this comes from a vote of current players and in this balloting, Freeman took honors for both NL Outstanding Player and as overall Player of the Year — a double win.

Clearly, having your peers recognize your accomplishments has to be a huge highlight of Freeman’s career — one could imagine that it would supplant even the ‘official’ league MVP award (voted on by writers) since those who play the game know it best.

Baseball America

Also on the 22nd, Baseball America (subscription-free link) announced their awards — and did so in a ‘1st team’ and ‘2nd team’ format.

In addition to garnering Player of the Year honors, Freeman and Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud were both named as 1st team honorees — yes: d’Arnaud was placed above J.T. Realmuto (second team).

However, there were a couple of results here that could be considered as snubs:

  • Marcell Ozuna — given a 1st place vote in the Baseball Digest balloting — was named to the 2nd team outfield.
  • No other Braves were mentioned:  not Ronald Acuna nor Max Fried.  The BA board found 10 starting pitchers in the majors that they liked better than Max Fried.

One has to wonder if they drew a thick line at being “Qualified” for an ERA crown — Fried pitched 56 innings… a scant 4 innings short of that qualification mark.  His ERA for the year among starters was 7th best in the majors among those at 50+ innings.

Still:  it’s a Fall trophy bonanza for Freddie Freeman, who clearly enjoyed a year of being fully healthy right up until his last AB.  He’s earned every accolade.

The Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) awards will be announced starting on November 9th with the MVP Awards scheduled for November 12 to wrap up the week.

At this point it would be a shock if Freeman doesn’t end up with that trophy, too.