And they certainly supplied most of the power for one of baseball’s most potent offenses over the past three years.
However, neither of them launched the farthest hit home run from an Oakland Athletics player last season.
The beloved, gangly, and often overlooked six-foot-seven-inch first baseman smacked a tape measure, no-doubt home run to dead centerfield off of Atlanta starter Mike Minor on August, 17.
The ball Nate hit flew farther than any ball any Oakland batter hit last season. It went 459 feet to straight-away centerfield.
This ball was so well struck that Atlanta centerfielder B.J. Upton gave up his chase just a few steps into running the ball down.
This home run was the second longest of the past three seasons for the A’s.
It seemed like general manager Billy Beane and the A’s lucked out when they claimed Freiman off of waivers from the Houston Astros in the spring of 2013. Just a few months prior to that Freiman was selected by the Astros from the San Diego padres in the rule-5 draft.
Sep 7, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics infielder Nate Freiman (35) reacts after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros in the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The owner of 88 home runs in parts of five season in the minor leagues, Freiman was never considered a top prospect, despite thriving at every stop on his way to Oakland.
But Oakland was where he got his chance to show off one skill coveted by Beane and the A’s: the ability to hit left-handed pitching.
After never playing above double-A, in 2013 Freiman broke camp with the A’s as the right-handed complement to Moss.
In 208 plate appearances, mostly against lefties, Freiman triple-slashed .274/ .327/ .389 with 4 homers, 24 RBIs,10 runs, and a 101 wRC+.
It appeared the A’s found another diamond-in-the-rough to fit the needs of the team and the structure of the roster.
However, in 2014 Freiman was optioned to triple-A to begin the season as his at-bats went to other players. He fared well in Sacramento after a mid-season adjustment.
He was recalled to Oakland and played in his first game on June 29th, hitting the game winning home run off Miami Marlins lefty starter Andrew Heaney.
He played in less than half the amount of games in 2014 than in 2013, but had better power numbers.
Still, he lost at-bats to more polished, veteran hitters.
More from Oakland A's History
- Looking back at Ruben Sierra with the Oakland A’s
- Remembering former A’s, Yankees utility man Hector Lopez
- Oakland A’s reach inevitable mark with 100th loss
- Oakland A’s announce 2023 Hall of Fame class
- Conner Capel makes Oakland A’s history by taking field
What is in store for Six-Foot-Nate in 2015?
Will all the all-star players that were shipped out you would think Nate would be given every opportunity to reclaim his role of batting against lefties, or even snag a full-time gig.
Sadly I do not think that is in store for the big guy.
For two seasons Nate was one of the most likeable players in Oakland, but unfortunately his journey might not continue much longer barring injury or failure from one of the new acquisitions.
Still, we’ll be left with memories like his walk-off single off the greatest closer ever, Mariano Rivera in 2013:
Or his game winner against the Marlins:
And of course, the longest home run by any Oakland Athletic in 2014.