Freddie Freeman Knows the Dodgers Are Dangerous and Deep

With the Los Angeles Dodgers showing what their offense is capable of early in spring training, Freddie Freeman sees the team's potential.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 27: Shohei Ohtani #17 celebrates with Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning inning during a game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch on February 27, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — After putting up a seven-run first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers flexed their muscles against the reigning National League champions, cruising to a 12-1 victory.

Sure, it’s spring training. Yes, it’s early. However, there are plenty of reasons to believe (and early examples of why) the top of the Los Angeles batting order could be one of the most devastating 1-2-3 punches to ever be put down on an MLB lineup card.

That top three has already been showcasing its individual and collective talents this spring, with Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman putting up impressive numbers as the Dodgers start to turn their sights to the opening of the 2024 season in Seoul, Korea, against the San Diego Padres on March 20.

Those numbers above include a Sunday performance where Betts opened the game with a single and Freeman added a two-run shot over the right field bullpen to open the floodgates.

Ad – content continues below

Betts would go 3-for-3 against the Diamondbacks while Freeman went 2-for-4. How about that other guy in the mix? Well, Ohtani went 1-for-3 with a double on Sunday, dropping his Cactus League batting average to .533.

“We’re not all going to get hits every single time, and that’s the beauty of it. If one of us doesn’t get it done, there are so many guys one through nine who could hit three or four in the lineup elsewhere in the big leagues,” Freeman said.

Then Freeman paused for a moment.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said, flashing a smile.

Fun … with some pressure built in as well. After all, this is a team that has paid a heavy price to win now with Ohtani at designated hitter and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (who made an immediate impression upon his arrival at Dodgers camp) and Tyler Glasnow entrenched inside a new-look rotation.

“I know there are a lot of expectations and excitement surrounding our team, but that means something good happened this offseason,” Freeman said.

Ad – content continues below

Those expectations start to be on full display in the upcoming Seoul Series against the Padres, a trip that Freeman says he is using his previous experience in the World Baseball Classic to navigate a jumbled spring schedule with the travel to and from Asia.

“I treat this as WBC and get ready as fast as I can. I can’t remember the last time I took four at-bats in a spring training game,” Freeman laughed.

“We leave in four days and we’re going to play real games 10 days before everyone else does. I’ve never done this before so I can’t really tell you how to do anything or how to prepare for it. I’m just doing the best I can right now, and that’s getting as many at-bats as I can.”

The strategy seems to be working right now, but Freeman knows that even with the talent the Dodgers have assembled, not every night is going to have an explosion of offense.

“It’s baseball,” Freeman said, referring to a loss earlier in the week when the Los Angeles Angels blanked the Dodgers and held the top three in the order to a 2-for-9 performance in a 4-0 win.

The expectations are there, and Freeman, coming off a season where he slashed .331/.410/.567 and finished third in the balloting for National League MVP, will be a key part of the team’s success. However, as deep and talented as the Dodgers are in 2024, they have to find a way to get past the postseason roadblocks that have stopped them in each of the last three Octobers.

Ad – content continues below

“I think for me, we’ve got something to prove,” manager Dave Roberts said earlier in spring training. “The ’24 Dodgers haven’t done anything. And as we clearly know, you don’t win on paper. I just think we haven’t done anything and we’ve got a lot to prove.”