February 5th, 2014

#AskTheHosts Inbox + Trivia

Though this isn’t a “Baseball Post” this clears up some information.

1) The #AskTheHosts Pepper Show airs this Saturday! Don’t forget to ask your questions! 
2) This weeks Trivia question is — How many Stadiums in Canada have at one time regularly hosted a MLB Team? —
3) Our coverage of Spring Training starts Friday; our blog overhaul also takes place this Friday!

Atlanta signs young stars to extensions

The Atlanta Braves locked up two of their best hitters to extensions Tuesday, signing outfielder Jason Heyward to a 2-year deal worth 13 million, and first baseman Freddie Freeman to an 8-year deal worth 135 million. After these extensions, both players have avoided arbitration, making lights-out closer Craig Kimbrel Atlanta’s only arbitration-eligible player. Heyward and Freeman are still very young at 24 years of age, and have huge potentials. Heyward was Atlanta’s 1st round pick in 2007, and there was a lot of hype surrounding him in his rookie season of 2010, when he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting to Buster Posey. But after that fantastic rookie year, Heyward had a huge sophomore slump in 2011, hitting only .227 in an injury-shortended season. He bounced back in 2012 with a solid season of 27 homers and a gold glove award, and then struggled again in 2013, where he played only 104 games and hit .254. Freddie Freeman took a similar route to the majors as Heyward, being Atlanta’s second round pick in 2007, and making his debut in 2010. He didn’t attract all the attention Heyward got, but he quietly has been putting up solid numbers his entire career. In his first full season of 2011, he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting.  He really broke out in 2013, hitting .319 with 23 homers and 109 runs batted in, becoming one of the best first basemen in baseball.