Rangers Acquire Sam Freeman From Cardinals
Freeman a native Texan, and a local kid from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, attended Hebron High School on Carrollton and then went on to start his collegiate career at North Central Texas College in Gainesville before finishing at the University of Kansas.
Freeman was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2008 Amateur Draft by the Cardinals. He made his big league debut in 2012 and has spent parts of each of the last three seasons in the big leagues.
In his 81 game career, he has posted a 3-2 record with a 3.33 ERA and a 3.78 FIP. He has averaged 7.8 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 for his short career. With a fourseam fastball that hovers right around that 94-95 mph range, he can mix in a hard sinker, slider, and a split finger. Below is a chart showing the velocity for his repertoire in each of his first three seasons.
Freeman has what we call reverse splits where left handed hitters hit better off him than right handed hitters, much like former Rangers left handed reliever Robbie Ross. Check out the chart below, courtesy of Baseball Reference.
Notice that Freeman faced more right handed hitters than he did lefties. It appears that Freeman isn’t going to be the left handed specialist out of the bullpen and could be used to face batters from both sides of the plate.
In the 15 games in which he’s pitched against an American League opponent, he has given up nine runs in 14.1 innings for a 5.63 ERA, a 1.535 WHIP, and a 5.7 K/9. Yes, this is a very short sample size, but those numbers aren’t really that impressive. There is always a little concern when a career National League pitcher comes to the American League as they tend not to fare all that well. There are some exceptions to that obviously but it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind.
The scouting report on Freeman was that he was very athletic, one of the most athletic kids in the Cardinals system. The general consensus is that a pitcher with great athleticism helps with repeatable mechanics which is something that all pitchers should strive for. Freeman did miss all of 2010 after having Tommy John surgery.
Freeman will be added to the 40 man roster because he is out of options. If the Rangers do not like what they see, he will need to clear waivers outright before he can assigned to the minor leagues.