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Just The Sports: Jeff Francoeur Update

Just The Sports

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Jeff Francoeur Update

Another month has passed and Francoeur has accomplished what he has only accomplished one other time in his relatively short career. Namely, he has put up better hitting totals than he did in the previous month. In the month of June, he hit .248 BA/.278 OBP/.413 SLG for a .228 GPA. Then he followed that month up with a better July where he hit .297 BA/.330 OBP/.515 SLG for a .277 GPA, which is a drastic improvement over where he was in June.

Still, for all of his improvement, overall Francoeur is a very impotent offensive weapon. Yes, he has twenty home runs. However, his home runs have come in 450 plate appearances and since Francoeur avoids walks like the plague, that means he has failed in a larger number of instances to get a hit. Case in point, Francoeur has 432 at-bats to go along with his 450 plate appearances, meaning there have only eighteen plate appearances where he has done something other than make an out or get a hit. With someone with Francoeur's power potential, as exhibited by his isolated power, twenty home runs is actually pathetic when taken into consideration with the kind of hitter he is.

Francoeur also fails to stack up against the other right fielders in the major leagues. He has contributed the least amount of runs above an average right fielder (-14.1 Runs above Position) by a large amount. At least Francoeur is still contributing more runs to the Atlanta Braves than a replacement right-fielder (2.1) so the Braves do not have to start searching the waiver wires or call up a Triple-A right fielder just yet. He is better than three other right fielders in that category: Jeromy Burnitz, Kevin Thompson, and Gabe Kapler. Thompson and Kapler have 74 plate appearances between them.

One website has broken down Francoeur's swing and pointed out what is wrong with it. So take a look for yourself. Neither the tapes nor the data lie.

What Francoeur benefited most from last year was the incredibly hot start he got off to. If the career trend had been reversed to where Francoeur started off as slowly as he did this year and then got better, I think the patience with him as a player would be wearing a lot less thin.


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