In Mike Trout's shadow, David Freese putting up old-school numbers

In Mike Trout's shadow, David Freese putting up old-school numbers

Mike Trout leads the Angels in runs batted in. No surprise there. Mike Trout leads the Angels in pretty much everything.

But the player who ranks second in RBIs? David Freese, who has nine home runs and 29 RBIs. That puts him on pace for 27 homers and 87 RBIs, each of which would be a career high.

The RBI statistic has been diminished with the advent of analytics, essentially because a player cannot control how many teammates are on base when he bats.

On the other hand, as Freese put it: "Obviously, more runs than the other team allows you to win games, so RBI and runs are definitely very important."

Freese has come to bat with runners in scoring position more often than any of his teammates, so his RBI total should be high. 

“He’s cashed in a lot of them, but he’s had a lot of hard outs,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “With any luck he could be sitting on 40 RBIs.”

Indeed, according to Fangraphs, Freese has hit the ball harder than any Angels player with at least 20 at-bats except -- you guessed it -- Trout.

Freese can file for free agency after the season. The best available third basemen in free agency could be Freese, the recently demoted Casey McGehee and two players pushing 40 -- Juan Uribe and Aramis Ramirez

That could put Freese in position to cash in -- but to what degree would be in question, since he turns 33 next April. 

The Angels would like to turn over third base next year to prospect Kyle Kubitza, who is batting .294 at triple-A and leads the Pacific Coast League with 20 doubles. It is uncertain whether Kubitza's uneven defense might open a door for Freese to return.

"We've not yet determined what we will do moving forward," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said.

Freese said he would love to stay.

"Who wouldn't want to play here?" he said. "It's a team that always has a chance to compete for the division. It's a great group of guys."

And, he added with a grin, "Southern California doesn't hurt, either."

Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin

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