WESLEY FREEMAN
CENTER FIELDER
Born: January 29, 1990
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 16th Round, 474th Overall, 2008
High School: All Saints Academy (Winter Haven, FL)
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Baseball America touted Freeman as a potential five-tool player with speed, strength and athleticism, and ranked him 13th among Florida prospects in a good year for the state. Various sources, however, stated that he had a serious hitch in his swing that would have to be corrected for him to hit as a pro. He’s shown the advertised athletic ability, including a strong arm, and probably could play some in center at higher levels, although he’s best suited to right field.

2008
R:  182/250/227, 22 AB, 1 2B, 1 BB, 4 K, 0-1 SB

Got in a little action toward the end of the GCL season, going 4-for-22.

2009
R:  210/275/344, 157 AB, 9 2B, 4 HR, 14 BB, 59 K, 6-10 SB

Back in the GCL, Freeman had major problems making contact, fanning in nearly 40% of his ABs.  On the plus side, he showed some power.  He played both right and center.

2010
R:  187/265/267, 75 AV, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 BB, 35 K, 3-3 SB
A:  155/223/238, 84 AB, 5 2B, 1 3B, 6 BB, 44 K, 1-5 SB

Somewhat surprisingly, the Pirates moved Freeman up to West Virginia to open 2010 as the starting rightfielder.  The move didn’t work out at all, as he was badly overmatched at the plate, striking out in over half his at-bats.  One plus was that he played well defensively, showing off his arm.  An ankle injury ended his time in low A in early May.  He eventually reappeared in the GCL and struggled just as much there.

2011
A-:  304/338/492, 191 AB, 14 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 9 BB, 51 K, 11-13 SB
A:  250/318/300, 20 AB, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 K, 1-1 SB

Freeman opened at State College and, initially, it was more of the same.  He posted a .508 OPS in June, but suddenly started hitting around mid-July.  He then posted an OPS over 1.000 in August.  He hit for good power and also did well stealing bases.  Plate discipline remained an issue, but he eventually showed improvement there:  he had two walks and 29 Ks the first two months, but seven and 22 after that.  He moved up to West Virginia for five games at the end of the year.

Freeman’s turnaround was sudden and dramatic, although the poor BB and K numbers indicate that he still has a lot of room for improvement.  He’ll make the jump to Bradenton in 2012.  The Marauders will have Evan Chambers, Dan Grovatt and Mel Rojas, Jr., in the outfield, so Freeman will rotate through the outfield spots and also serve as DH.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2012: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $150,000
MiLB Debut: 2008
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2014
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2012
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2008: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 16th round, 474th overall pick; signed on August 8.