Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Freddie Freeman set multiple records for the Los Angeles Dodgers in what was one of the best seasons of his illustrious career.
The seven-time All-Star batted .331/.410/.567 with 59 doubles, 29 home runs, 102 RBI, 131 runs scored and a career-high 23 stolen bases while logging 730 plate appearances across 161 games. Freeman was in the Dodgers lineup every game until the day after they clinched the National League West title.
Freeman became the first player in MLB history to have at least 55 doubles, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season. He also surpassed Johnny Frederick for the most doubles in a single season in Dodgers franchise history.
That kind of production would put Freeman at the forefront of the National League MVP Award race in most years, but many have the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mookie Betts ahead of him.
“It is,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said when asked if Freeman’s 2023 season had been overshadowed by Acuña and Betts. “I think if you look at Freddie’s career, a lot of it has gone unnoticed.
“Even in Atlanta, I think they appreciate what he does and his production, but I think the baseball world, sometimes you take for granted the consistency of what he does.
“There’s no self-promotion to his game. He just loves to compete and win. When you’re talking about Most Valuable Players, for me, he is right there at the top of the conversation.”
Acuña, the favorite for 2023 NL MVP honors, led all of baseball with 149 runs scored and 217 hits, and posted the first 40-70 season (home runs/steals) in MLB history.
However, Betts edged Acuña in WAR (8.4 to 8.1) and hit .307/.408/.579/ with 40 doubles, 39 home runs, 107 RBI, 126 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in 693 plate appearances over 152 games.
Freddie Freeman & Mookie Betts among Hank Aaron Award finalists
Freeman and Betts are among the National League finalists for the 2023 Hank Aaron Award, which is presented annually to the top offensive player in each league.
Fellow finalists for the NL honor are Acuña and Matt Olson (Braves), Corbin Carroll (Arizona Diamondbacks), Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), Luis Arraez (Miami Marlins), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies) and Juan Soto (San Diego Padres).
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