Whirlwind ride continues for Freese

The whirlwind ride that began in South Alabama continues to twirl for David Freese. A month and a day after being selected by the San Diego Padres in the 2006 MLB Draft, Freese was on the move again.          

After beginning the year in Eugene with the Emeralds, David Freese was promoted to the Fort Wayne Wizards of the Midwest League on Friday.

It wasn't without merit.

The third baseman tore up Northwest League pitching at the same rate he smoked the ball with South Alabama. After posting a .414 average with the Jaguars, Freese hit .379 with eight doubles, five homers, 19 runs scored and 26 RBI's over 18 games with the Ems.

Although he is no longer in the league, he sits atop the leaderboard in nearly every major offensive category, including slugging percentage, extra base hits, RBI's and runs scored.

"I just stayed patient," Freese said humbly. "Grady Fuson came to us about a week ago and he likes us to stay patient so I was just trying to utilize what he was telling us, staying patient and waiting for a pitch to drive."

It began before Fuson imparted his knowledge and desires.

Harkening back to college is what made Freese the player he is today.

"I came from a great program in South Alabama," he said. "I was real fortunate to come from (manager) Steve Kittrell's program because it is not all about winning down there. They try and teach you how to play the game. Coming from there helped a lot too."

Coming from a program that stressed development helped him mold a different kind of patience that had nothing to do with his work at the dish.

A ninth round pick in this year's draft, Freese had to share third base duties with first round pick Matt Antonelli. When they weren't out on the field, they would be assigned to the designated hitter position.

"Me and Antonelli are used to playing third everyday," Freese admitted. "We were both in the lineup hitting every day and that is the hardest thing. If you sit a couple of days and try and hit it is like pinch-hitting every time you come to the plate. It is a transition that we handled pretty well."

The constant flip-flopping of roles didn't stop Freese from pumping out 15 RBI's in six games as the designated hitter and batting .414 when he played third base.

And just 18 games into his professional career, Freese has been shipped up to full-season Low-A ball.

Was it a surprise for the young Texas native?

"It was a little bit of a shocker but I just tried to keep an open mind," Freese admitted. "You can't really control it. You just have to perform the best that you can and hope they will move you up and then you see what you can do.

"I am just trying to keep an open mind. I don't really know what is going to happen. I want to do what I have been doing."

What will happen is days of platoon are over. With the moves the Padres made, Freese will be in the starting lineup on a daily basis and sitting at third base. Seth Johnston will move back to second base where he is infinitely better defensively and suddenly the Wizards have an infield defense to be proud of instead of sporting two players who were out of position.

And Freese may be joining a lineup that is just as formidable as the one he left behind in Eugene.

"They have a real good lineup and hopefully I fit in real well and can keep doing what I have been doing."

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