Freddie Freeman arrived at Spring Training with the comfort of knowing that he was definitely entering the 2013 season healthy. After struggling through the final four months of 2012, Freeman believes he can truly live up to his potential with the Atlanta Braves.
Freeman says that when he starting hitting with Dan Uggla in January, he was finally able to make a fist and grip a bat without any discomfort in his left index finger, which was severely bruised by Jose Reyes while turning a double play on June 6.
He was only able to play in seven of the next fourteen games, but Freeman also believes it affected his swing the rest of the season. Now that he's healthy again, Freeman is as excited as ever for the start of a new season.
"The first week of January, I was able to make a full fist," Freeman said on braves.com. "That was when the excitement hit me. I was like, 'Yes, it's fully healthy.' Even when I had been working out, doing curls and other things, I could still feel it in my fingers. But back in [the summer], they were telling me that I wouldn't be able to make a fist until Christmas."
Freeman has also finally conquered his vision issues, which had just subsided when he injured his finger. It became a problem right after he won his second National League Player of the Week award in the first five weeks of the season. Before his eyes gave Freeman fits, he had hit .298 with six homers in 28 games. Afterward, he hit .251 with 17 homers in 118 games.
New, comfortable contacts and clear Oakley sunglasses are what Freeman has chosen to wear this season to protect his eyes.
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