By KEVIN MCALPIN
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – Monday night, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced the 2020 finalists for MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Manager of the Year in both the NL and AL. The Braves had one representative as All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman was among the three announced in the National League, along with Dodgers slugger Mookie Betts and Padres third baseman Manny Machado.
Freeman’s 2020 season got off to a rocky start as he was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the start of Summer Camp in early July. COVID hit Freeman hard as he had a fever that at one point got up to 104.5 degrees. Freddie felt like he was in such rough shape, he actually said “please don’t take me” before going to bed on that Friday night of the 4th of July weekend. Flash forward four months later, Freeman is being recognized for one of the best seasons in Major League Baseball in 2020.
Appearing in all sixty regular season games for the Braves, Freeman led the National League in doubles (23), runs scored (51), extra base hits (37) and WAR (3.3). His .341 average was good for second best in the NL behind Nationals youngster Juan Soto, while his slugging (.640), OPS (1.102), RBI (53) and total bases (137) were all good for second most in the NL.
This season marks the fifth time in eleven Major League seasons that Freeman has finished in the top eight of the NL MVP voting, and his highest ever, surpassing a fourth place finish in 2018. If Freeman’s name is called as the winner, he’d become the first Brave to take home the Most Valuable Player Award since Chipper Jones in 1999.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.