San Antonio Missions catcher David Freitas etched his name into Pacific Coast League history by winning the League's 2019 batting title, the League office announced Wednesday. Freitas hit .381, beating Las Vegas's Corban Joseph (.371), to become just the third full-time catcher in league history to achieve the feat, joining Jesse Gonder (1962, .342 average, San Diego) and Gus Fisher (1914, .355 average, Portland).
Freitas's .381 average finished just four points shy of breaking the PCL's Modern Era Record of .384 achieved by Jose Martinez of Omaha in 2015. His average is also the second-highest average since 2006, and is also one of 18 winners to hit over .380 in the PCL's 116 year history.
Drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 15th round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Freitas was a key cog for a San Antonio club that just missed out on the postseason in their first year in the PCL. Freitas hit .381 (125-for-328) with 12 home runs and 81 RBI between the Tacoma Rainiers and San Antonio Missions. He played in just six games for the Rainiers before being traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Milwaukee Brewers on April 14 for right-handed pitcher Sal Biasi. He played in 85 games for the Missions, hitting .387 (120-for-310) with his 12 home runs and 76 RBI. The Wilton, Calif., native struck out just 55 times and walked 47 times this season between the two clubs, while also scoring 55 runs.
On the season, Freitas had 40 multi-hit games and hit in 72 of the 94 games he has played between the PCL and now two stints at the Major League level this season, after being promoted to the Brewers on September 1 when rosters expanded. He has notched an RBI in 50 of 94 games this year including three four-RBI games and 22 multi-RBI night performances. Freitas had a 15-game hitting streak from May 31 to June 21 in which he hit .410 (25-for-61) with a home run and 18 RBI.
Freitas was named both a mid- and postseason All-Star for the first time in his career this season with the Missions after beginning the year on the Mariners Opening Day Roster.
To qualify for a batting title in Minor League Baseball, hitters must have the minimum number of total plate appearances. For the 140-game 2019 campaign, hitters qualified by recording 378 or more plate appearances. Ty France of the El Paso Chihuahuas finished the season with a .399 batting average, but did not meet the minimum number of plate appearances to qualify for the title.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.