Freeman displays opposite-field power

Freeman displays opposite-field power

ATLANTA -- Braves hitting coach Greg Walker was among those encouraged to see Freddie Freeman record a pair of opposite-field hits during his three-hit performance against the D-backs on Tuesday night.

"I think it is good, because that is his strength," Walker said. "He's got massive oppo-power, probably more than anybody I've ever coached, other than maybe [Jim] Thome."

Freeman did not necessarily display this power with any opposite-field home runs or shots to the right-center field gap. But in lining a second-inning double down the left-field line and lacing a single to right in the third inning, the 22-year-old first baseman gave an indication that he was seeing the baseball well and feeling comfortable with his swing.

The Braves are hoping Freeman will start realizing the same success that he had while batting .298 with a .320 on-base percentage and .544 slugging percentage through his first 28 games this year. After winning two National League Player of the Week Awards within the season's first five weeks, he spent most of the next month battling vision problems.

When Freeman finally solved his vision problems, he got hit with a Jose Reyes throw and spent most of this month's first three weeks battling a sore left index finger. But Tuesday's game might have signaled the end of this frustrating stretch.

"When he's healthy and he's got his timing back and everything, I expect him to do what he did last night," Walker said. "That didn't surprise me a bit. He's that good."