Players around the MLB world have made their thoughts known on the banning of the shift. But Los Angeles Dodgers’ star 1B Freddie Freeman has found consistent success even with the shift in previous seasons due to his approach at the plate. Nevertheless, Freeman revealed the impact MLB’s 2023 shift ban will have on the game, per SportsNet LA.
“I think it’s (MLB shift ban) going to effect a lot of hitters. Left-handed hitters especially,” Freeman said during Dodgers’ FanFest on Saturday. “You know when you hit a line drive into right field and you’re out, that is frustrating. It really is.”
Freddie Freeman then explained that the shift will have a pivotal effect on defenses as well. Players will not be able to simply stand where the ball is likely going to be hit. As a result, athleticism and instincts will serve a crucial role in 2023.
Offensively, Freddie Freeman is one of the best left-handed hitters in the game. He tends to take the ball the other away or to centerfield on a consistent basis, so the shift never gave him much trouble. In fact, Freeman has hit the ball to centerfield over 51 percent of the time during his career, per Baseball Reference.
With that being said, it will be interesting to see if Freeman starts pulling the baseball on a more regular basis in 2023. He only hit 21 home runs in 2022, so he may be in line for a power spike.
Meanwhile, pull-happy left-handed hitters will see all-around better results this season.