Nathan Samuel Freiman
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 7", Weight 225 lb.
- School Duke University
- High School Wellesley High School
- Debut April 3, 2013
Nate Freiman topped 100 RBI in the minors in 2011 and 2012. He led his league in RBI in two of his first four seasons as a pro and made the top five the other two years. He made his major league debut in 2013.
Freiman hit .304/.355/.496 as a freshman at Duke, playing mostly DH. As a sophomore in 2007, he batted .369/.435/.553 while starting at first base. He produced at a .286/.365/.374 clip with 28 RBI in 42 games in summer ball for the Orleans Cardinals. He was 5th in the Cape Cod League in RBI. As a junior, he hit .381/.447/.671 with 39 runs and 46 RBI in 39 games for Duke. He fell to .253/.327/.380 in a repeat engagement for Orleans, with 5 home runs in 40 games. The Texas Rangers chose him in the 28th round of the 2008 amateur draft but he did not sign.
Returning for his senior year at Duke, the Washington native had a big year at .352/.470/.703 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 59 games to finish as Duke's career home run leader (43, breaking Ryan Jackson's mark). He tied Luke Murton for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in dingers, two behind leader Dustin Ackley. He tied for 24th in NCAA Division I in home runs. The San Diego Padres picked him in the eighth round of the 2009 amateur draft, one round after they took Miles Mikolas. The scout was Adam Bourassa.
2009-2012: Climbing the minor league ladder
Freiman made his pro debut with the Eugene Emeralds, batting .294/.364/.484 with 22 doubles, 11 home runs and 68 RBI in 72 games, while fielding .994 at first base. He easily led the Northwest League in RBI, 14 ahead of Gerardo Avila. He also led in total bases (140) and extra-base hits (33). He led the league's first basemen in fielding percentage (.994), putouts (589), assists (53) and double plays (66). He was second in the NWL in home runs (two behind Avila) and in doubles (one behind Kent Matthes). He did not make the NWL All-Star team as Ryan Wheeler was chosen at 1B.
Nate remained productive with the 2010 Fort Wayne TinCaps at .294/.369/.457 with 43 doubles, 83 runs and 84 RBI. He led San Diego minor leaguers in doubles (8 more than anyone else) and tied Vince Belnome for third in RBI. In the Midwest League, he tied Brian Cavazos-Galvez for first in doubles, led in double play grounders (21), led in fielding at 1B (.993) and had the most putouts (1,123) and double plays (97) at first and was 4th in RBI. He tied for 4th in the affiliated minors in doubled behind Jacob Goebbert, Luis Jimenez and Nick Evans.
Moving up to the Lake Elsinore Storm in 2011, the 24-year-old's batting line read .288/.354/.487 at year's end. He had 35 doubles, 22 home runs and 111 RBI, though his error total nearly doubled from 9 to 16. He was fifth in the Padres chain in home runs, second in RBI (three behind Jedd Gyorko) and he was among the California League leaders in the following departments: fielding at 1B (.991, 1st), putouts at 1B (1,127, 1st), assists at first (102, 1st), errors at first (16, 1st), RBI (3rd behind Nolan Arenado and Angelo Songco), total bases (267, 4th after Songco, Gary Brown and Kole Calhoun), hits (158, tied for 6th with Austin Wates), home runs (tied for 6th with Tommy Joseph, Calhoun and Kody Hinze) and doubles (tied for 8th). He was named the league's All-Star first baseman.
In 2012, Freiman hit .298/.370/.502 with 31 doubles, 24 home runs, 80 runs and 105 RBI for the San Antonio Missions. He fielded .996, his errors dropping from 16 to 4. He was among the Padres minor league leaders in doubles (3rd), runs (tied for first with Gyorko), RBI (1st by 5 over Gyorko) and home runs (3rd behind Gyorko and Cody Decker). In the Texas League, he was tied for 5th in runs (with Engel Beltre), fourth in doubles, third in home runs (four behind leader Mike Olt, also trailing Decker), first in RBI (11 more than Oscar Taveras), tied for fifth in times hit by pitch (12) and second in slugging (to Taveras). He was named the TL All-Star first baseman.
2012: Israeli national team
Freiman was the first baseman for the Israeli national team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, teaming with former Duke teammate Jake Lemmerman. Nate was one of the big stars in the qualifiers. In game one, he hit homers off South Africa's Dylan Unsworth and Carl Michaels in a 7-3 Israeli win. In their 4-2 win over Spain, he provided all the offense, with two-run home runs against both Richard Salazar and Iván Granados. He remained potent in the finale, going 1 for 3 with two walks, a run and a RBI but Spain beat Israel, 9-7. He was 5 for 12 for the Qualifier with two walks, four home runs, five runs and seven RBI. He led the Florida qualifier in home runs, slugging and RBI and tied Yunesky Sanchez, Gabe Suarez and Paco Figueroa for the most runs. His 1.417 slugging was almost double any other player, with runner-up Albert Cartwright at .727. He easily led Israel in OPS, as his 1950 was over 1000 ahead of runner-up Jack Marder's 889 (Adam Greenberg and Robbie Widlansky were at 1000 in two plate appearances or fewer), while former major leaguers Josh Satin (739) and Shawn Green (667) were significantly back. His performance in the tournament helped to raise his profile, and on December 6th, the Houston Astros selected him from San Diego in the 2012 Rule V Draft.
2013-2014 : Major Leagues
Freiman failed to make the Astros' team in spring training, but when he was put on waivers in order to be returned to the Padres, he was claimed by the Oakland Athletics, who saw use for him as the right-handed half of a first base platoon with Brandon Moss. He played his first major league game on April 3, 2013 against the Seattle Mariners and left-handed starter Joe Saunders. He went 2 for 3 with an RBI before giving way to Moss late in the game, which the A's won, 6-2. He connected for his first big league homer on April 15th, a three-run blast off Erik Bedard of the Astros to key a 6-run 1st inning in an 11-2 win by Oakland. He was named the American League's Rookie of the Month for May when he batted .351 with 3 doubles, a homer and 9 RBI in 14 games. He hit .274/.327/.389 for a 100 OPS+ in 80 games, with 4 homers and 24 RBIs. In 2014, he played only 36 games for the A's, hitting .218/.269/.448 for a 101 OPS+ with 5 homers and 15 RBIs. He spent most of the season in AAA with the Sacramento RiverCats, where he played 80 games, hitting .284/.371/.506 with 22 doubles and 15 homers, driving in 74 runs.
2015- : Back on the farm
He then spent all of 2015 in the minor leagues with the Nashville Sounds, the Athletics' new AAA affiliate. He hit only .220/.279/.321 with four dingers in 79 games however.
Freiman was released by the Athletics after the 2015 season, the signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves. He went to spring training with them in 2016, but on March 27th was traded to the Washington Nationals in return for OF/1B Tyler Moore. He got into only eight games for the Syracuse Chiefs (4 for 26, 2B, 3B, 10 K) and was released. Signed by the independent Long Island Ducks, he hit .381/.458/.714 with two homers in six games to revive interest from MLB clubs. The Boston Red Sox signed him and shipped him to the Portland Sea Dogs, for whom he produced at a .277/.364/.450 clip with 60 RBI in 90 games.
He was back with Israel for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He was 2 for 11 with 3 walks, a double and a run, not as sharp as he had been in the qualifiers four years prior; Israel did better, though, winning their pool and a spot in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, their first World Baseball Classic. His run was timely; facing Brazil (defending its spot from the 2013 World Baseball Classic), he doubled off Bo Takahashi and scored on a Cody Decker sacrifice fly for the lone score in a 1-0 win.
- 2012 Padres Media Guide
- World Baseball Classic
- Duke bio
- The Baseball Cube
- 2010-2012 Baseball Almanacs