By Trey McCurry.
With the 2010 Clemson baseball team back in town, TheClemsonInsider had the chance to catch up with recent Clemson graduate and baseball standout Mike Freeman.
The second-team All-ACC selection ended the season batting .331 with 57 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He was second on the team with 33 extra-base hits (team-leading 24 doubles, one triple, and eight home runs), all while being named a member of the All-ACC Academic Team. One of the major things about Freeman that never showed up on any stat sheet was the number of highlight reel plays Freeman made at second base.
Freeman also excelled in the post-season for the Tigers. He was a member of the Auburn Regional All-Tournament team after going 6-for-17 (.353) with a homer, two doubles, four RBI, and seven runs all while making no errors in 17 chances in the field. Then in the three games of the Clemson Super Regional, #5 went 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles, two RBI, and four runs. Freeman capped his career by getting a single in his last ever at-bat for the Tigers.
Looking back on last season, Freeman said it was a “heck of a season.”
“We had our ups and downs, but we got hot at the right time and were rewarded with a trip to Omaha,” said #5. “It was exactly the place I wanted to end my career, but it would have been nice to play a couple more games. Nonetheless, it was an unforgettable season. To be one of the last teams to play in Rosenblatt was truly special. To think about all the great college baseball players that played in that stadium really put into perspective how incredible the place really is.”
After spending three years in the Clemson program, Freeman had nothing but glowing compliments for everyone involved. “I couldn’t have been blessed with a better experience while I was at Clemson. I will never forget the teammates I had the pleasure of play with and the incredible feeling of running out on the field in front of such incredible fans. And to play under Jack Leggett and his staff is something to be cherished. There is not a better couch out there.”
In his three seasons as a Clemson Tiger, Freeman had a .330 batting average, 253 hits, 48 doubles, six triples, 13 homers, 120 RBI, 174 runs, a .404 on-base percentage, and 25 stolen bases along with a .972 fielding percentage.
Following a senior season that saw him have hitting streaks of 15 and 18 games, Freeman was selected in the 11th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Following the completion of Clemson’s season, Freeman was assigned to the Yakima Bears of the Class A Short-Season Northwest League where he continued where he left off at Clemson. In 53 games, Freeman hit .333 with nine doubles, one triple, one single, 39 runs, 23 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.
“The professional season went well for me once I got started. It was a different experience from college, but a good one. It was nice to experience some success in my first taste of professional baseball.”
Even with his Clemson career in the books, Freeman still follows Clemson baseball and is excited about the upcoming season. “There is a lot to be excited about when looking at the team this year. I think you can expect a similar team to last year with a strong offensive lineup with veterans all over the field and a pitching staff that knows how to compete and get people out. I expect to see them christening the new stadium in Omaha come June.”