Former University of Hawaii catcher David Freitas found one thing that could make or break his 2016 season.
The Chicago Cubs farmhand didn’t consider swinging or shifting and blocking a key to propelling his baseball career. He knew having his family close was all he needed.
“I told my family back home that I really needed their help because we don’t get paid very well,” Freitas said. “I was like the one thing that’s going to make or break my season is I want my family with me, no matter what. Once I became a dad, I said I’m gonna be a dad no matter what.”
After having his son, Owen, with his wife, Kacee, last March, Freitas used his off-season building his family to build himself into a hot prospect with the Cubs, clubbing .307 in Double-A Knoxville and Triple-A Iowa this season.
“It honestly makes the game a lot easier because for me, we play baseball all day and then I go play baseball,” Freitas said. “It’s still like a little kid’s game and it makes it, instead of stressing about it for a day, I come home to Owen and the wife and they’re both smiling and having fun like nothing happened. It doesn’t matter.”
With Cubs regular starting catcher David Ross, 39, and reserve Miguel Montero 33, 27-year-old Freitas could be the catcher of the future in one of baseball’s top organizations.
The progress is vindicating for Freitas, who has spent six grueling years in the minor leagues.
“It reassures you the things that I’m doing on a daily basis, when I go to the field and do my routine every single day,” he said. “Days that I’m not playing, I’m trying to get better. It feels good to have that reassurance that what I’m doing is right and just keep doing it.”