The Oakland Athletics released first baseman Nate Freiman after three seasons in the organization, according to Athletics Farm. Freiman, soon turning 29, was acquired off waivers from the Houston Astros after they acquired him from the San Diego Padres in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft. Freiman is more than the .256/.309/.408 line he put up in 116 games between 2013 and 2014 as the right-handed batting half of Oakland's first base platoon. First of all, he is 1.23 Altuves tall:
Here you go... RT @newballpark: Obligatory Altuve-Freiman shot. pic.twitter.com/WNEwrf0E0c— Ken Arneson (@kenarneson) September 7, 2013
Freiman's 6-foot-8 frame seemed to call for a lot of power, and he showed it off in fits and spurts. He won the May 2013 AL Rookie of the Month Award after hitting .351/.415/.514 with a home run and three doubles in 41 plate appearances, and in 2014 he hit five home runs in just 93 trips to the plate thanks to a completely re-jiggered swing.
His most memorable dinger came after the A's had just lost Josh Reddick to a reaggravated right knee injury in a Saturday afternoon road game against the Marlins, forcing Freiman to be scratched from the Sacramento River Cats lineup at 5:30 PM Pacific Time to travel to Miami to play in Oakland's next game, which started at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. A "wired" coffee-fueled Freiman came to the plate after landing at 6:30 AM:
Up strode Nate Freiman, who apparently got the memo that if the A's add you to the roster you must immediately perform brilliantly. Freiman launched a 3-run HR to LF to give the A's a sudden 4-1 lead.
One of his most memorable hits came at the conclusion of an 18-inning contest against the New York Yankees at the Coliseum. The Yankees were trying to avoid bringing Mariano Rivera into that contest for some reason, which would be his last in Oakland. Nate Freiman put an emphatic end to Rivera's appearances with Nate's first career walk off hit:
The 6-foot-8 Freiman also inspired us with his sliding acumen:
The clock was ticking on Freiman, however, after the A's obtained Mark Canha in a Rule 5 draft-and-trade deal with the Colorado Rockies at the 2014 Winter Meetings. Canha's five spring home runs and Freiman's offseason back injury consigned Freiman to Triple-A where the resurgence Nate enjoyed in 2014 disappeared. Freiman hit just .220/.279/.321 in 79 games with Nashville, hitting only four home runs. He cleared waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster last July.
With a large number of first base prospects graduating to or already in Triple-A, such as Matt Olson and Rangel Ravelo, there just wasn't going to be a place for Freiman on next year's club. So farewell six-eight Nate. It was fun.