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David Freese Is Actually Playing Like An All-Star For St. Louis Cardinals

It was hard not to think of David Freese's NL All-Star Team appearance, back in July, as a kind of sinecure reward for his postseason heroics back in 2012. The early commercials where he shared speaking parts with superstars, the eventual trip to Kansas City—all of it seemed more like a valedictory than a response to his admittedly-quite-good season-to-date for the regular season St. Louis Cardinals.

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Now that we're into September, though, it's worth mentioning that David Freese is actually having an outstanding season for the Cardinals—and, for once, a healthy one besides. In 120 games (a career high, of course) Freese has an OPS+ approaching 130; after fragmentary seasons in which his contribution was defined mostly by his suspiciously high batting averages on balls in play he's finally shown off the power that was his minor league calling-card.

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Combine that with average defense and the ability to stay on the field and you have—after all that worry about his post-postseason future—a plain old All-Star-caliber season. Which is certainly a pleasant surprise.