Recipe for a Rookie of the Day award:
- Start by beating one slumping offense, whiffing them occasionally for added flavor
- Add a spacious pitcher’s ballpark
- Toss in two excellent off-speed pitches and a healthy dose of low-90′s heat
- Top off the effort with a two run dinger and, voila, Your masterpiece is complete!
That was pretty much the story last night as Brandon Beachy befuddled the Seattle Mariners in Safeco Field. The 24 year old southpaw struck out nine over six quality innings, allowing just an Adam Kennedy homerun amongst the three hits and one walk. Beachy lowered his ERA to 3.04 for the season and won his third game on the season. As good as Beachy was, he was on the hook for a no-decision until 1B Freddie Freeman ended the 1-1 deadlock with a two-run blast into the right field seats. The homerun for the 21 year old phenom was his ninth on the season and fourth in the month of June.
Freeman’s been a much more aggressive hitter since his slow start in April, especially in June. This month Freeman has managed to hit a respectible .278 with his four HR and 15 RBI, but his 4 BB/29 K rate is a departure from his more respectible April numbers (12 BB/17K). I don’t anticipate this being a long term trend as Freeman has always demonstrated decent plate discipline through his fastracked minor league stops.
The market for Freeman’s cards has to be his 2009 Bowman Chrome autographs which are currently in high demand in the $47-55 range. 2010 Bowman Platinum came out with Freeman autos as well and are priced in the $25-30 range. Deals still can be had in his first Bowman cards from the 2007 Bowman Draft and Chrome set. The chrome cards were selling like hotcakes at $4-6 each in February and March as the talks of him winning the N.L. Rookie of the Year award were widespread. After his slow April, these cards dipped down to $1.50-2.00 each and could once again be found in bulk quantities. Despite last night’s heroics, the ’07 cards have not moved too much from these prices. There is currently a 20 card lot of chromes on eBay right now that could be had at a nice price and would be an ideal item to put in an eBay store.
Nine homeruns and 32 RBI before the midpoint of the season puts Freddie Freeman smack dab in the middle of the Rookie of the Year chase. I’d pay close attention to his BB/K numbers in respect to his power numbers. If he can sharpen up the former without compromising the latter, Freeman could be headed for a huge rookie season with post season accolades, which will make the Feb/March prices of his rookie cards a baseline for better prices to come.