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Just The Sports: Give Francoeur What He Wants

Just The Sports

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Give Francoeur What He Wants

If Jeff Francoeur truly desires a trade, then the New York Mets should oblige him and quickly because Francoeur and his agent are obviously suffering from troubling delusions. Francoeur has never deserved to play every day in his career, and the New York Mets would be foolish to allow him to bully them into committing the folly of caving into his demands.

Going back four years, I have written ten posts detailing the struggles Francoeur has experienced on the major league level. Since the time when I gave up beating the dead horse that is the fact Francoeur barely deserves to still be on any major league roster, nothing has changed. By every possible hitting statistic, Francoeur is a below average hitter when allowed to play every day.

In his 3,328 plate appearances, Francoeur has only hit .267/.309/.426. The league average during that time has been .267/.338/.427. While Francoeur is right on average in terms of batting average and slugging percentage, he fails to measure up when it comes to on-base percentage, which is the most important of those three hitting statistics.

Moreover, Francoeur's career wOBA of .314 is lower than the league average wOBA, which is around .335. A team simply is not going to be able to maximize their potential with Francoeur playing right field every day, no matter the above average defense he plays. If every player on a roster hit like Franceour, any team he played for would have a .454 winning percentage.

If Francoeur truly wanted to stick around in the majors, there is only one way in which he can do that; he will need to accept a role as a platoon partner. For his career, Francoeur has only done one thing right and that is to hit left handed pitching well. Under those conditions, Francoeur has hit .300/.343/.484 with a .347 wOBA, reasonably above average. Any other utilization of Francoeur is an unforgivable error since there is so much empirical evidence of the kind of hitter he is.

Against right handers, Francoeur has only hit .255/.295/.403 and a .302 wOBA, which is what players who no longer are in the majors hit. To play Francoeur against a right handed pitcher is akin to just picking a person at random from the stands at Citi Field and having him or her hit; the results will probably be the same.

The sooner Francoeur realizes his only value as a player, the sooner he will see himself actually help a team win instead of costing the team more runs than he provides due to the fact he is more likely to face a right handed pitcher than a southpaw. If Francoeur refuses to accept his role, then he is much too selfish to continue to take up a spot on the Mets' roster.



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