Freese: 4th-Best RBI Start in Recent History

Freese's bases-clearing double Monday night

Only three players in the history of the St. Louis Cardinals since 1952 drove in more runs in their first 40 games than David Freese. One is named Albert Pujols.

Monday was special for St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese in several ways. The 27-year-old had been named the National League Player of the Week that afternoon and he celebrated that evening by delivering the knockout blow to the Philadelphia Phillies in game 1 of their four-game series.

 

The right-handed hitter plated three with a bases-loaded double off the right field wall of Citizens Bank Park in the Cardinals' pivotal five-run seventh inning. Freese remains on fire as he extended his hitting streak to seven straight games, during which he is 14-for-27 (.519) while driving in 14 runs. He is now 10-for-21 with men in scoring position this season.

 

"What David is doing is out of this world," manager Tony La Russa said after Monday's game.

 

Monday marked a career milestone for Freese as well. He completed his 40th game as a major leaguer – 17 last season and 23 here in 2010. During that time, in a total of 126 plate appearances and 112 official at-bats, Freese has amassed 26 RBI.

 

That total ties Freese for the fourth-fastest RBI start in the recent history of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise, since 1952.

 

Interestingly, all of the team's top leaders were corner infielders. Not surprisingly, all-world first baseman Albert Pujols is first in team history with 44 RBI over his first 40 games. He was primarily a third baseman in the early stages of his rookie major league season of 2001.

 

Pujols is followed by a trio of players from the early 1950's. In fact, all three did it within a two-year time span. In 1953, first-year third baseman Ray Jablonski plated 35.

 

Oddly, in the very next year, 1954, the Cardinals' pair of new first basemen each achieved the feat. Tom Alston drove in 29 through his initial 40 contests and Joe Cunningham, now tied by Freese, had 26 that same season.

 

When considering RBI productivity per plate appearance, Freese has fourth place all to himself, following Pujols, first baseman Fred Whitfield (1962) and Jablonski. Freese is collecting RBIs slightly more frequently than one per five plate appearances. Pujols' initial pace was better than one per four PAs.

 

St. Louis Cardinals, RBI, first 40 games, 1952-present

Player G PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA SLG BI/PA
Albert Pujols 40 174 150 55 8 1 14 44 17 25 .367 .713 .253
Ray Jablonski 40 164 156 43 9 1 6 35 8 16 .276 .462 .213
Tom Alston 40 175 154 44 11 1 4 29 18 20 .286 .448 .166
David Freese 40 126 112 39 8 1 4 26 8 26 .358 .543 .206
Joe Cunningham 40 175 157 44 7 1 6 26 17 20 .280 .452 .149
Fred Whitfield 40 103 100 29 5 1 6 24 3 17 .290 .540 .233
Ken Boyer 40 166 147 38 7 1 7 22 17 20 .259 .463 .133
J.D. Drew 40 132 113 32 8 4 7 22 15 33 .283 .611 .167
Brian Jordan 40 151 145 31 8 3 5 22 6 37 .214 .414 .146
Wally Moon 40 186 156 51 6 3 5 21 25 11 .327 .500 .113
Willie McGee 40 142 133 44 3 5 0 20 6 20 .331 .429 .141
Terry Pendleton 40 172 160 50 7 1 1 20 10 20 .313 .388 .116
Andy Van Slyke 40 138 120 29 5 1 4 19 16 24 .242 .400 .138
David Bell 38 148 142 36 7 2 2 18 4 25 .254 .373 .122
Leon Durham 40 135 120 29 6 1 4 18 9 20 .242 .408 .133
Jim Lindeman 40 129 122 27 8 0 4 18 4 29 .221 .385 .140
Gene Oliver 40 111 107 25 5 0 4 18 4 28 .234 .393 .162
John Rodriguez 40 140 122 36 6 0 4 18 12 38 .295 .443 .129
Chris Duncan 40 101 93 28 5 1 7 17 5 24 .301 .602 .168
Bo Hart 40 190 174 56 8 3 2 17 9 32 .322 .437 .089
Colby Rasmus 40 151 132 30 7 0 4 17 12 27 .227 .371 .113

 

A special thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the data pull.

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Follow Brian on Twitter.

 

© 2010 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

TheCardinalNation.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets