Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
When David Freese looks up, what does he see?
The way he has played since Oct. 1, 2011, I think the only possible answer to that question is a vast, limitless blue sky.
Metaphors aside, Freese has crushed the ball in his first six games this year. Six months off did nothing to remove the Cardinals' third baseman from his perpetually locked in state that began last October.
From a fantasy perspective, Freese presents an intriguing situation. That is, he's dominated for an extended period of time without ever having been an above-average fantasy play.
As amazing as his postseason was (.397, five homers, 21 RBIs, 1.258 OPS), that performance meant nothing to fantasy baseball, as owners had long packed up their computers, leaving their league pages dormant, by the time Freese heated up.
That takes us to right now, where Freese has thoroughly dominated opposing pitchers over his first 27 at bats in 2012.
In that span, Freese has socked 12 hits, scored five runs, hit three homers and knocked in 10 runs while carrying a .444/.464/.778 split.
As usual, us fantasy owners must answer the simple question: what does this all mean?
Who is the real David Freese?
As enthralling as his run has been, it is still a small sample size taking up less than 100 plate appearances.
Freese also hasn't exceeded 97 games played, 10 homers, or a .791 OPS in either of his two full Major League seasons.
Even if Freese always was always capable of putting of these astronomical numbers and was just held back by injuries, his injury history remains an issue.
Still, there's no ignoring Freese's Miguel Cabrera-like run, first under the bright lights of October, and now to the top of the fantasy baseball leaderboard.
Treading through situations like this can be tough. On one hand, you don't want to sell Freese and then watch him tear it up at this high level for another 150 games. On the other hand, you also don't want to risk holding onto him before his stock drops or he gets injured.
My recommendation is to explore the trade market for Freese only if you're blown away. If someone is willing to massively overreact to the third baseman's volcanic stretch and give you a safer, yet equally productive talent, do it.
However, when it comes to Freese, other owners are asking the same questions you are, so it's not likely you'll find someone to part with a preseason top-10 pick.
With that said, don't sell Freese off for a mid-level talent, because he has already proven that at his best he has the potential to be a top tier fantasy third baseman.
At a position that includes Jose Bautista, Evan Longoria and Hanley Ramirez (and will soon include Cabrera), Freese has outperformed them all this season at a much cheaper cost.
And fear not, since you likely didn't draft Freese that high (Yahoo ADP - 137), you'll have other superstar offensive players to carry the team if his year does go in the tank.
Because of this, the risk of losing him and watching him continue his surge is much greater than keeping him and having him regress back to the mean.