Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jeff Francoeur And Playing Time

Everybody knows Jeff Francoeur oozes leadership. We know this because Royals management and the KC media repeatedly mention what a great leader he is. Maybe I'm all alone here but this narrative was easier to digest last year when Francoeur was having a productive season. This year he has regressed back to his pre-2011 numbers but continues to play every day and is currently blocking a potential upgrade in Wil Myers.

That's the thing about Francoeur, he plays every day no matter how bad his performance. And I'm not talking about just this year. Since his sophomore season he's posted an OPS+ north of 100 just twice but yet has came to the plate 630+ times five times, and this season will assuredly make six. Atlanta gave him 653 plate appearances in 2008 and he gave them a 72 OPS+. I'm not sure why they stuck with him, he was coming off consecutive 100 RBI seasons though, so maybe they thought he would get it going at some point.

Since the start of the 2006 season Francoeur is one of only 28 major league hitters to have accumulated 4000+ plate appearances. Of those 28, only Juan Pierre has a lower OPS+ than Smilin' Jeff in that time frame.

Rk Player OPS+ PA From To
1 Albert Pujols 169 4357 2006 2012
2 Miguel Cabrera 156 4425 2006 2012
3 Matt Holliday 145 4215 2006 2012
4 David Ortiz 144 4025 2006 2012
5 Prince Fielder 143 4503 2006 2012
6 Adrian Gonzalez 139 4496 2006 2012
7 Ryan Howard 139 4019 2006 2011
8 David Wright 137 4181 2006 2012
9 Mark Teixeira 133 4418 2006 2012
10 Hanley Ramirez 130 4102 2006 2012
11 Robinson Cano 123 4209 2006 2012
12 Adam Dunn 123 4129 2006 2012
13 Curtis Granderson 118 4280 2006 2012
14 Carlos Lee 118 4114 2006 2012
15 Nick Swisher 118 4095 2006 2012
16 Nick Markakis 117 4310 2006 2012
17 Bobby Abreu 116 4179 2006 2012
18 Raul Ibanez 116 4054 2006 2012
19 Dan Uggla 115 4384 2006 2012
20 Derek Jeter 111 4529 2006 2012
21 Ichiro Suzuki 108 4727 2006 2012
22 Michael Young 107 4488 2006 2012
23 Alex Rios 104 4038 2006 2012
24 Brandon Phillips 102 4214 2006 2012
25 Jimmy Rollins 100 4273 2006 2012
26 Jhonny Peralta 99 4064 2006 2012
27 Jeff Francoeur 93 4151 2006 2012
28 Juan Pierre 83 4002 2006 2012
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/5/2012.

If we lower the minimum to 3000 Francoeur comes in 98th out of 109. Yuniesky Betancourt checks in on that particular list at 107.

When Myers gets promoted it'll be interesting to see how playing time is parceled out. There's the off chance Francoeur could be dealt but, unless Moore is willing to eat his contract, that seems unlikely. They DFA'd Mitch Maier rather than demote Jarrod Dyson or Jason Bourgeois so it would seem weird if one of them were suddenly relegated to Maier's previous irrelevant status.

One thing is certain though, Francoeur will get his at bats, because, leadership.


1 comment:

Big Lee said...

Dyson nor Boushwah can do what Maier did. He could play all 3 outfield positions competently, and was drafted as a catcher so being the emergency catcher was not a stretch. Dyson "that what speed do" has one tool. Boushwah hits lefties well, and runs pretty good, but is also quite limited. Hope Mitch gets on with an NL team, where it will be easier to prove his worth.