06.22.10

Artus : Francouer’s Free Swinging Comes At A Heavy Price

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 10:17 am by

“As much as some like Jeff Francoeur’s presence in the lineup,” opines NJ.com’s Matthew Artus, “we would welcome his replacement just the same.”  Easily the weak link out of the Mets’ 3 starting outfielders (and with Carlos Beltran possibly returning sometime before early October), Francoeur is so frustrating, he’s provoked Artus to raise the spectre of Dave Kingman and Lance Johnson.  However, that pair “withstood their lack of patience by capitalizing on the other essential task required to reach base, with the former hitting with power while the latter just flat-out hit. Frenchy can’t mash the ball the way Kingman did, nor can he hit it anywhere close to Johnson’s productive levels.”

Of the two tasks expected of every hitter in baseball, Frenchy excels at neither. He doesn’t “like” to walk, and he doesn’t hit enough to make up for it. Almost all of his value is derived from his defense, which isn’t exactly the second coming of Roberto Clemente out in right field. If/When Beltran ever returns, he should be the odd man out of an outfield with Jason Bay and Angel Pagan because he doesn’t walk as well as either of them nor hit as well.

At the moment, Jeff Francoeur’s the everyday right fielder for the Mets because they simply do not have a viable alternative. F-Mart’s not ready. Nick Evans is forgotten. GMJ has ceased to be. And acquiring another player to fill that spot could unnecessarily block Pagan if and when Beltran returns.

Artus concludes by dubbing Francoeur,  “this generation’s version of a poor man’s Rey Ordonez”, which strikes me as grossly unfair.  To Ordonez, who early in his Flushing tenure at least, was a superior fielder at shortstop than Francoeur is at this moment.

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