Stepping Up: David Freese

After off-season legal troubles, the St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese steps up and takes responsibility for his actions and seems primed to seize the team's third base job.

As we head toward the 2010 season, one thing is for the sure; the St. Louis Cardinals will have a new player manning the hot corner. Gone are Troy Glaus, Mark DeRosa, and even Joe Thurston, opening up a hole for rookie David Freese.

The St. Louis native headed to camp in 2009 in a similar position but an ankle injury derailed his opportunity. He broke camp with the team before ultimately having to undergo surgery to repair his injured ankle. Freese returned to help lead Memphis to a Pacific Coast League title, hitting .300/.369/.525 with 10 home runs in 200 at bats.

The 26-year-old got a late season promotion to the big leagues and took advantage of the situation. He ended the season with a line of .323/.353/.484 in 31 big league at bats.

After the signing of Matt Holliday, Freese appeared to have the inside track on the job once again. But legal troubles could have side tracked his quest to be the starting third baseman on his hometown team.

At the recent Winter Warm-Up, he spoke to the media. What I heard was a person who took ownership of his mistakes and learned a valuable life lesson. Freese showed a great level of maturity and if he goes to camp and shows the same type of poise, he could very well break camp in the team's starting lineup.

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