Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jeff Francoeur signs with Cleveland Indians in search of lost confidence

You call that love in Cleveland, but it’s just Frenchy!

Last year the Giants released Jeff Francoeur with five weeks left in the season. He was done with baseball.

“Mentally, I had checked out,” he said.

Teams called Francoeur’s agent to see if he wanted to join them for the September stretch run. He said no. His agent warned him that answer would cost him a big-league job in 2014. Francoeur said he didn’t care, because he needed to get away.

“To put it mildly, I think I was depressed at the end of last year,” said Francoeur, in camp with the Indians on a minor-league deal. “My wife, Catie, and my family came up to see me in Washington when I was with San Francisco. I weighed 201 pounds. I weigh 220 now. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t taking care of myself.”

...“The last year and half to two years I haven’t had that much fun. I kind of missed the joy of coming to the yard. Hopefully, there is an opportunity here for me to contribute.”

Francoeur sounds a lot like Ryan Raburn when he came to camp last year on a spring-training contract. Raburn was coming off a terrible year with Detroit, but had a big spring and turned it into a two-year contract extension after hitting .272 with 16 homers and a .901 OPS in just 243 at-bats.

“I talked to Raburn about it,” said Francoeur. “The one thing Tito can do is instill some confidence. I’ve had some great years in the big leagues. Two years ago, I had my career year. So its not that you totally lost it, it’s that you lost confidence in yourself.”

If Francoeur can rediscover that confidence in the next six weeks, he just might be able to help the Tribe.

Repoz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:18 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cleveland

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:17 AM (#4659455)
I legitimately love Frenchy. He's one of my absolute favorite ballplayers.

I also have no confidence that he will rediscover his lost confidence. Or, at least that said confidence will translate into anything resembling useful big league ability.
   2. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4659457)
I legitimately love Frenchy. He's one of my absolute favorite ballplayers.


He seems like a good guy, if a little jockishly lacking self-awareness.

I heckled him unmercifully (cleanly, mostly about said lack of self awareness) from the Pepsi Porch a few years ago, he never responded, good on him.
   3. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4659465)
I always felt like Francoeur never had a chance. All his life he crushed every pitch he got a piece of, then all of the sudden that's not enough when he gets to the bigs. I'd blame coaches, but McCann had the same ones.

Some guys, you're never going to get them to stop swinging early, often, and indiscriminately. At some point they fall in love with the feel and sound of the bat meeting the ball, and they chase the rush it gives them. For a guy like the Kung Fu Panda maybe its the difference between where he is and true superstardom. For Francoeur it just happened to be the difference between being a Major League player and not.
   4. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:21 AM (#4659469)
For Francoeur it just happened to be the difference between being a Major League player and not.

Frenchy has made over 25 million dollars in his career and has had three separate seasons where he has been a solid major league regular. That's a Major Leaguer in my eyes. He has just gotten more scrutiny (and money) than is probably fair.
   5. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:27 AM (#4659471)
At some point they fall in love with the feel and sound of the bat meeting the ball, and they chase the rush it gives them.


In their defense, there are few things in life that are more worthy of unadulterated love than the sound* of the bat meeting the ball.

* Hell, sight, feel and smell as well.
   6. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4659472)
Frenchy has made over 25 million dollars in his career and has had three separate seasons where he has been a solid major league regular. That's a Major Leaguer in my eyes. He has just gotten more scrutiny (and money) than is probably fair.


That's fair, Jeff Francoeur was a major league ballplayer and at times a good one, none of us can take that away. I guess my point was more that he could still be playing at a relatively high level. Back in Atlanta, when the cracks really started to show, he'd go through stretches were he'd show glimmers. He'd take a pitch low and away, sometimes still in the strike zone and sometimes not. Or he'd work a good count. He'd do that consistently for a few weeks and hit the ball well, sometimes his numbers reflected it, sometimes they didn't, but it was tantalizing because literally every single other skill was there for 26 year old Jeff Francoeur. That's really my point.

Of course, there's the legitimate argument that approach flaws were as much a product of mechanics as anything. He had an exceptionally long load time when he was a Brave, which meant he had to make his mind up much faster than most MLB hitters. Then the question becomes how much of taking that big load is approach? You get wheels within wheels really fast.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:03 AM (#4659476)
Some guys, you're never going to get them to stop swinging early, often, and indiscriminately. At some point they fall in love with the feel and sound of the bat meeting the ball, and they chase the rush it gives them. For a guy like the Kung Fu Panda maybe its the difference between where he is and true superstardom. For Francoeur it just happened to be the difference between being a Major League player and not.


I understand why it's easy to focus on his plate discipline here. It seems like it tells Francoeur's story. It's the skill that he was missing during those first good years. It's a skill that has a strong mental component, so we think that it is one that he could improve at with hard work. But ultimately I don't think it that we should identify it as the one important thing he couldn't do well.

I'm looking at the Fangraphs leaderboards for the 10's.

Francoeur has a 5.5 BB%, which is 252nd of 287 qualifiers. Awful, right? But there are many clearly superior hitters around him, or below him. Adam Jones, AJ Pierzynski, Alex Rios, Daniel Murphy, Chris Johnson, Howie Kendrick, Carlos Gomez, Michael Morse. It's possible to hit well at this BB% level if you can do other things well too. Those other guys make more frequent contact than Frenchy, or they make harder contact than Frenchy. His K/BB was at 258th in the league. But again, there are many superior hitters ranked near and below him.

His ISO of .150 ranked 165th. There are some excellent hitters in that range, and also some terrible ones. For a corner outfielder it's not much. His HR/FB ranked 180th. Even when he makes contact, he just doesn't hit the ball very hard... in the field, his arm remains exceptional but his range looks like it disappeared pretty quickly.

So no, I don't think it's true that he had literally every other skill. Adam Jones has literally every other skill, and he's a fantastic player despite the fact that he has even worse plate discipline than Francoeur. Francoeur is more like Josh Reddick with less power and less range.

I always felt like Francoeur never had a chance. All his life he crushed every pitch he got a piece of, then all of the sudden that's not enough when he gets to the bigs.


I also don't understand this comment. Many MLB hitters crushed every ball they ever got a piece of in their youth. There's nothing special about Francoeur's story. He's just not good enough. The hot streak and the Sports Illustrated cover, in retrospect, were the result of a Shane Spencer style run of insane and meaningless luck. It doesn't make sense to allow those couple months to color the rest of his career.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:12 AM (#4659477)
Teams called Francoeur’s agent to see if he wanted to join them for the September stretch run.


My money is on the Doosan Bears or Lamigo Monkeys.

   9. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:23 AM (#4659478)
@7, read my post in 6, I make plenty of room for the possibility that Francour's problems were mechanical in nature. I was just in a poetic mood.

The Baby Braves were the first team I really followed day in and day out, they'll always have a special place in my baseball heart. So yeah, I wax a little poetic for Francoeur.
   10. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:44 AM (#4659481)
It didn't take much time after Francoeur came up to realize that, insanely hot start notwithstanding, he had serious trouble catching up to high fastballs. That's not always a crippling problem; most players not named Gary Sheffield have issues catching up to good high heat. Francoeur, however, had this circular problem where:

1. He couldn't hit high fastballs, and
2. He didn't have the discipline to lay off high fastballs, so
3. He started his swing earlier in order to try and catch up to high fastballs, and
4. He left himself increasingly vulnerable to all the problems that come when you're starting your swing earlier and earlier

It's probably impossible to try and break down how much of the problems Francoeur (or every other player with plate discipline issues) had were due to genuine issues discerning balls from strikes, how much of them were due to personality type ("Yeah, it's out of the zone, but I can hit it") and how much of them were due to swing issues.
   11. vivaelpujols Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:44 AM (#4659489)
I legitimately love Frenchy. He's one of my absolute favorite ballplayers.


Good luck to ya. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but this seems like its is taking it too far. He isn't very good to begin with and seems entitled as a player. I have no idea why Frenchy would be one of your favorite players except for pure backlash.
   12. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:15 AM (#4659493)
I'd blame coaches, but McCann had the same ones.


McCann's mainly been instructed by his dad his whole life.
   13. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4659500)
ood luck to ya. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but this seems like its is taking it too far. He isn't very good to begin with and seems entitled as a player. I have no idea why Frenchy would be one of your favorite players except for pure backlash.


Such things aren't required to make sense. Why the hell was, say, Barry Lersch one of my favorite players way back when? Hell, I doubt he was his mom's favorite player.

Of course, I was maybe 11. Probably SoSHially is a bit older than that.
   14. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4659502)
I have no idea why Frenchy would be one of your favorite players except for pure backlash.


Because they like his tenacity. His drive. His determination. His goofy smile. Any number of reasons. Not everyone selects a favorite player by calculating WAR.
   15. Lassus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4659506)
Because they like his tenacity. His drive. His determination. His goofy smile. Any number of reasons. Not everyone selects a favorite player by calculating WAR.

Hence my love for Benny Agbayani and Daniel Herrera.
   16. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4659518)
Because they like his tenacity. His drive. His determination.


I have seen not one whit of evidence that any of these things exist.
   17. BDC Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4659523)
Jeff Francoeur signs with Cleveland Indians in search of lost confidence

Start spreading the news
I'm leaving today
Back to the marginal edge of it
In Cleveland, O.

I had Frisco blues
But they're melting away
I want to feel invisible
In Cleveland, O.

I want to wake up in a city that's half asleep
And find that I'm
Semi-obscure
Quite overlooked
Not in the news
C-number-Five

If I can make it there,
I'll make it in any mid-level market
It's up to YOU
You CLEVE-land O.
   18. Spectral Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4659525)
Picking favorite ballplayers doesn't require objective evidence, it just requires vague feelings of happiness when watching a guy. Steve Lombardozzi is, by any objective, empirical measure, a pretty sure ballplayer. I know nothing about him as a person. I still like him and root for him for no particular reason. My girlfriend felt the same way about the equally crummy Jesus Flores when she was living in DC. Sometimes, you like some of your team's crummy players and aren't really much of a fan of the pretty decent ones.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4659556)
Sometimes, you like some of your team's crummy players and aren't really much of a fan of the pretty decent ones.


Truth.
   20. JE (Jason) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4659568)
I also have no confidence that he will rediscover his lost confidence.

Did he look up at the scoreboard?
   21. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4659602)
I have no idea why Frenchy would be one of your favorite players except for pure backlash.

I've snarked on him as much as anyone but eventually the contrarian in me wanted to see him succeed.
   22. zonk Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4659616)
Sometimes, you like some of your team's crummy players and aren't really much of a fan of the pretty decent ones.



Truth.


Hence all the love for the Cubs F Troop way back when... what? We weren't being tongue in cheek? Very well then.

Kidding aside, yeah -- my favorite Cubs weren't the Sandbergs and the Sosas.... Hector Villanueva, Ron Cey, Jose Hernandez, Doug Dascenzo, Shawon Dunston, etc...
   23. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4659625)
He's pretty much a cinch to make the 25-man out of spring training--Indians don't have a ton of RHBs.
   24. The Good Face Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4659663)
Francoeur has a 5.5 BB%, which is 252nd of 287 qualifiers. Awful, right? But there are many clearly superior hitters around him, or below him. Adam Jones, AJ Pierzynski, Alex Rios, Daniel Murphy, Chris Johnson, Howie Kendrick, Carlos Gomez, Michael Morse. It's possible to hit well at this BB% level if you can do other things well too. Those other guys make more frequent contact than Frenchy, or they make harder contact than Frenchy. His K/BB was at 258th in the league. But again, there are many superior hitters ranked near and below him.

His ISO of .150 ranked 165th. There are some excellent hitters in that range, and also some terrible ones. For a corner outfielder it's not much. His HR/FB ranked 180th. Even when he makes contact, he just doesn't hit the ball very hard... in the field, his arm remains exceptional but his range looks like it disappeared pretty quickly.


This pretty much nails it. Frenchy's BB% was indeed bad, but not fatally so. His career BB% is identical to Pudge Rodriguez, who has 15 points of career OPS+ over him, despite having a looong decline phase and being a catcher. Juan Gonzales had a slightly better BB%, but over 40 points of OPS+ on him. Pudge had amazing contact skills. Gonzales hit the absolute crap out of pitches he made contact with. Francouer can't do either of those things, and doesn't offer enough defense to offset those flaws.
   25. vivaelpujols Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4659674)
Because they like his tenacity. His drive. His determination. His goofy smile. Any number of reasons. Not everyone selects a favorite player by calculating WAR.


Who's talking about WAR? Everyone agrees that Francouer's a mediocre player. Is his personality really that great? He seems pretty entitled like I said, wasn't he ######## about not getting playing time a few years ago? Plus the OBP scoreboard thing - instead of taking a legit criticism of his play seriously he brushes it off with some stupid one liner. The only thing that Francouer is notable for is being really good his first year or so and being a lightning rod for the sabermetric vs. traditional/Dayton Moore debate. Hence I'm prone to think that any serious admiration of Frenchy is significantly due to backlash (or being a team fan which doesn't apply to SOSH).

Edit: obviously it's possible to like a mediocre player. I loved Brendan Ryan when he was with the Cardinals, but at least he was really good at one thing and was just starting his career. Having Francouer as one your favorite players at this point in his career is like having Ryan Theriot as one of your favorite players.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4659676)
While we often saw Frenchy as the stubborn and stupid failing prospect when he was with the Braves, everything I've read about him since that time has portrayed him as an earnest and genuinely likable guy. And my god, the Delta blog he had, so adorably ridiculous.
   27. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4659683)
is like having Ryan Theriot as one of your favorite players.

Aw come on. It's perfectly justifiable to have someone whose name is spelled The Riot as one of your favorite players.
   28. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4659689)
I was just in a poetic mood.

That kinda thing's not welcome in these parts, son.
   29. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4659691)
Good luck to ya. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but this seems like its is taking it too far. He isn't very good to begin with and seems entitled as a player. I have no idea why Frenchy would be one of your favorite players except for pure backlash.

You don't have any idea about a lot of things.

Criticizing someone for having a particular player as one of his favorites? Wow. It's easy to see how you're so fond of the Tangos and MGLs of the world.
   30. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4659696)
Because they like his tenacity. His drive. His determination. His goofy smile.

Which is to say -- his Frenchiness.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4659708)
I haven't been able to find "his" blog. Do copies of his entries live somewhere in a corner of the internet?
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4659710)
Not everyone selects a favorite player by calculating WAR.

"One doesn’t choose a favorite ballplayer. It’s a lot more like falling in love than, say, picking a mutual fund."

Anyway, others are spot on that Francoeur could have had a very productive career with his walk rate if he was stronger in other areas. I look at Garrett Anderson as a good example -- a corner outfielder who actually had a lower BB rate than Frenchy (4.7% to 5.0%), but he had a much lower K rate (13.3% to 18.3%) and a higher BABIP (.311 to .297), which made the difference between a 102 and a 91 OPS+. Even in his down years he always managed to hit .280 and not be a giant hole in the lineup. Anderson wasn't a star but he had a very long and productive career, 2500+ hits, a few All Star teams.
   33. Colin Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4659712)
I always felt like Francoeur never had a chance. All his life he crushed every pitch he got a piece of, then all of the sudden that's not enough when he gets to the bigs. I'd blame coaches,


The problem was that Francoeur had clear deficiencies in his approach and swing, but the team kept rewarding him in spite of those. They promoted him to the majors on the strength of a good (but not can't-keep-him-out-of-the-majors great) three month stretch at AA when he was 21 years old. He then hit the crap out of the ball for a month and a half and got on the cover of SI.

Over his next 800 or so PA after that hot start he had an OBP of about .290, and they should have demoted him. But, then in 2007 he hit .293 at age 23 and they probably thought he'd figured it out. Except, he hadn't, and the next year and a half he was back at that .290 or so OBP.

He kept having intermittent stretches of superficial usefulness, so they never sent him back to the minors, out of the pressure of the local spotlight, to work on his game. Well, not entirely true - they tried that once, left him in the minors for a weekend, and then brought him back up. Useless. The problem for the team, though, was that they had no obviously better options.

There are two players of whom he reminds me: Jermaine Dye in the past, and Evan Gattis in the present. Dye's game looked a lot like Francoeur's when he came up in 1996: decent contact, decent ISO, no patience. The Braves traded him and he spent his first few years with KC bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors; in the minors his hitting numbers improved, and finally in 1999 he took those same skills to the majors.

Evan Gattis was promoted to the majors after a hot 2012 in the minors, culminating with 182 PA at AA; the Braves needed him because of McCann's injury. Like Frenchy he then hit the cover off the ball for two months, then crashed hard, a combination of both injury and the league adjusting to him. The Braves never sent him back to the minors, and are now committed to him as starting catcher for this year, despite his posting an OBP around .270 from June until the end of last season.

Dye is obviously the exception - the impatient hitter who learns enough discipline to succeed, but I am left wondering if Francoeur's mechanics could have allowed such an adjustment, if he'd had more time and the coaching to do it. But, then I remember that our AAA coaching never seemed terribly good at that time, so probably not.
   34. Swedish Chef Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4659722)
I'd have liked to see Frenchy going to Japan. But maybe Delta doesn't fly there.
   35. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4659723)
Even when he makes contact, he just doesn't hit the ball very hard...


That's not true, when he makes solid contact he can hit the ball as hard as anyone- the trouble is he makes truly solid contact so infrequently, he's got a nasty habit of getting just a piece of the ball AND putting the ball in play.
   36. Greg K Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4659760)
My favourite players have included Gregg Zaun, Craig Grebeck, Greg Maddux, Craig Biggio, and Ryne Sandberg. Playing 2B gives you a leg up, as does having a name similar to mine apparently. Though among active players Craig Breslow and Gregor Blanco aren't really grabbing me.

The last time I had a favourite player because he was actually good at baseball was Sandberg (when I was about 8). Though really, I liked Dunston more, but when my dad's friend got me a massive poster for my room there weren't any Dunston's available so he went with Sandberg. Maddux and Biggio were mistakes on my part...I picked them before I realize they were actually good.

EDIT: I also have no real feeling one way or the other about Jason Kubel despite us both having a bastardized version of the same German surname.
   37. Sweatpants Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4659798)
For his first few years in the majors, Francoeur looked like someone who could possibly put up, I dunno, numbers like the ones Jay Bruce is putting up now, if Francoeur ever figured stuff like plate discipline out. His problem isn't just that he never figured it out or found a way to work around it like Jose Guillen; it's that around 2008 he became just a mid-level power hitter. He hasn't been a toolsy guy in a while. Now he's just a guy who kind of gets by on name recognition, projecting a positive attitude/schmoozing, and choosing the teams he signs with wisely.
   38. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4659840)
Some guys, you're never going to get them to stop swinging early, often, and indiscriminately. At some point they fall in love with the feel and sound of the bat meeting the ball, and they chase the rush it gives them. For a guy like the Kung Fu Panda maybe its the difference between where he is and true superstardom. For Francoeur it just happened to be the difference between being a Major League player and not.


If this has been said before, I missed it. I find this profound.

When in high school, I was a semi-serious bowler. But I found that I just liked the feel of throwing the ball hard and the sound of it hitting the pins. And this actually kept my scores down over the long run; I just wasn't capable of making strategic decisions dictated by the score of the game.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4659856)
My favourite players have included Gregg Zaun, Craig Grebeck, Greg Maddux, Craig Biggio, and Ryne Sandberg. Playing 2B gives you a leg up, as does having a name similar to mine apparently.


Not Gregg Jefferies? He was my favorite player.
   40. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4659857)
For his first few years in the majors, Francoeur looked like someone who could possibly put up, I dunno, numbers like the ones Jay Bruce is putting up now, if Francoeur ever figured stuff like plate discipline out. His problem isn't just that he never figured it out or found a way to work around it like Jose Guillen


either Dan or Emeigh kept using Guillen as a comp for Frenchy... can kind of see it, but Frenchy just never parked enough balls over the fence to make up for his flaws. Bruce, I can see sort of, except I see Bruce as a guy who never developed, he's where he was as a 20 year old in AAA- Frenchy never really developed either- he would have to have developed to reach Bruce status.

My usual comp for Frenchy is a better hitter- Soriano- who to my eyes has very comparable pitch recognition/selection "skills"- Sori has had a far better career simply because he's got slightly better reflexes and a more compact swing- he starts his swing and gets it through the zone a tad bit quicker than Frenchy- they both swing at stuff they really shouldn't, but Sori can HIT a wider variety of offerings than Frenchy can- so the approach doesn't hurt him nearly as much
   41. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4659865)
The first pack of baseball cards I got as a kid had one Red Sox in it, Rick Miller. He was a Red Sox and he was left handed, if you think I didn't root HARD for Miller after that you are crazy. Al Nipper was another one that for no logical reason I absolutely adored. Sometimes guys just strike a nerve.
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4659912)
My favourite players have included Gregg Zaun, Craig Grebeck, Greg Maddux, Craig Biggio, and Ryne Sandberg. Playing 2B gives you a leg up, as does having a name similar to mine apparently.


I can see how you managed to miss his 22 MLB plate appearances, but I introduce you to your new favourite (sic) player.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4659941)
I his name is abbreviated in the url: LEGGGR
   44. Zach Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4659953)
You guys have it all wrong. He's writing a sequel to "In search of lost time" that is *set* in Cleveland. He's a Proust fan.
   45. BDC Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4659959)
For a long time, I used to strike out early.

I still don't understand why Greg Legg could finish his ML career with a .409 average in hardly any playing time. He went on to play for years in the minors. He may never have had much promise, and he may be pleased as hell that the .409 is on the books, but you'd think somebody'd have given him a chance to lower it.
   46. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4659977)
The first pack of baseball cards I got as a kid had one Red Sox in it, Rick Miller. He was a Red Sox and he was left handed, if you think I didn't root HARD for Miller after that you are crazy. Al Nipper was another one that for no logical reason I absolutely adored. Sometimes guys just strike a nerve.


Yep. I mean, why was I an Enzo Hernandez fan as a kid? Because his first name was Enzo, of course, which might as well be Spanish for "cool."
   47. DA Baracus Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4659982)
Oh man, Cleveland, what are you doing.

I always felt like Francoeur never had a chance.


What. Francoeur was almost literally an everyday player for four years, he started every game for 2 years straight and missed 12 games the next two years.
   48. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4660004)
My usual comp for Frenchy is a better hitter- Soriano- who to my eyes has very comparable pitch recognition/selection "skills"- Sori has had a far better career simply because he's got slightly better reflexes and a more compact swing- he starts his swing and gets it through the zone a tad bit quicker than Frenchy- they both swing at stuff they really shouldn't, but Sori can HIT a wider variety of offerings than Frenchy can- so the approach doesn't hurt him nearly as much


To my eye, Francoeur has a very long swing. Someone did him a disservice at the lower levels, hell, maybe all the way back in HS, but not making him tighten it up. Yea he generates good bat speed, but without the pitch recognition skills and patience needed to be a "guess" hitter, he's dead in the water up there alot. If he could work a count and get himself into a lot of 2-0, 3-1, 2-1 situations where he could sit on the fastball, he'd be much better off, but he can't, it's just not in his makeup.



   49. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4660011)
What. Francoeur was almost literally an everyday player for four years, he started every game for 2 years straight and missed 12 games the next two years.


My point was that through coaching and psychology he seemed to me to be a guy who was robbed of the opportunity to have a meaningful 10 year career, as opposed to being the backside of the joke.
   50. vivaelpujols Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4660013)
My point was that through coaching and psychology


Francouer has 5000 PA - he's had plenty of a career. I guess it wasn't meaningful, but that's because he never improved upon his skills. Even so he's had more success and more opportunities than the majority of first round picks. I dunno why you would blame coaching or "psychology" for him not being a good player.
   51. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4660028)
My point was that through coaching and psychology he seemed to me to be a guy who was robbed of the opportunity to have a meaningful 10 year career, as opposed to being the backside of the joke.


Hey, for 8 years of work, you wanna pay me his career earnings, 25.5 million, I'll be the butt of many jokes! I don't know how he was robbed of anything, he simply couldn't cut it as an everyday player. A guy like Alejandro De Aza is a guy that was robbed of a long career, he was raking in the minors in his mid 20's, got a cup of coffee with the Marlins, and then had a bad injury, lost a bunch of time and momentum toiling in the minors, and when promoted immediately became the 2-3 WAR player many thought he'd be. Now he'll be lucky to get one "long term" FA jackpot before he retires.

Franklin Gutierez was robbed of a career. Francoeur hasn't been robbed of anything.
   52. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4660029)
Franklin Gutierez was robbed of a career. Francoeur hasn't been robbed of anything.


Fine, quibble with my wording. How's this: "If Jeff Francoeur had better coaching from a young age, I suspect he could have been a significantly better player than he turned out to be."
   53. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4660039)
I agree with that biglou; I posted as much upthread -- he should have had that swing shortened long before he turned pro.
   54. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4660040)
I agree with that biglou; I posted as much upthread -- he should have had that swing shortened long before he turned pro.
   55. Bourbon Samurai Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4660042)
My favorite players through the ages have included Matt nokes, earl combs ( when i wa going through a weird historical research phase), mark McGwire, Matt gallego, Tim Hudson, ad Adam Dunn. There is. P requirement your favorite player be good.

Most recently we live in dc, go to 10 or so nats games a year, and our son wa born October 16, same day as Bryce Harper so he has pretty much sewn up favorite player status for quite awhile
   56. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4660047)
One of the reasons IMHO that teams had a hard time judging Frenchy was his absolutely UNCANNY ability to hit like gangbusters for the first 3 weeks to a month-and-a half for whatever his new team was. It started with the Braves and continued on after every trade save one. I got the NIMpression that all his teams (especially the Bravos) took his hot start as indicative of his true ability rather than a fluke month of hot hitting. I submit, ladies and gemmins of the jury, that, if his hot streaks has occurred 4 months into any one season, it would have been treated for exactly what it was--a fluke based on small sample size.

I said on this very forum in his second year with the Braves, that any NL pitcher should be fined if he EVER threw a strike to Frenchy
   57. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4660123)
They promoted him to the majors on the strength of a good (but not can't-keep-him-out-of-the-majors great) three month stretch at AA when he was 21 years old.

When he was promoted, it was because they had no other choices. And then he went nuts, so what should have been a temporary call-up became permanent.
Oso Blanco is already somewhat different than Frenchy. He made adjustments during 2013, and recovered by the end of the year. Yes, he's not as good as he looked in early 2013. But sane people didn't believe he was really that good while he was being that good. What early 2013 proved was that he was good enough to play catcher in the majors. Most Braves fans that pay attention to the minors consider Gattis a stop-gap while Bethancourt gets another year or so to get ready. After all, Gattis is not that much younger than McCann.
   58. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4660214)
One of the reasons IMHO that teams had a hard time judging Frenchy was his absolutely UNCANNY ability to hit like gangbusters for the first 3 weeks to a month-and-a half for whatever his new team was. It started with the Braves and continued on after every trade save one. I got the NIMpression that all his teams (especially the Bravos) took his hot start as indicative of his true ability rather than a fluke month of hot hitting.


That was my impression as well, but when he was with the Mets doing that act- he did not look good while he was hitting well, he looked exactly like what he was, a bad hitter with a bad approach with a too long swing- having a hot streak, I simply don't understand how people- professionals- were fooled by him.
   59. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 23, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4661092)
Hence I'm prone to think that any serious admiration of Frenchy is significantly due to backlash (or being a team fan which doesn't apply to SOSH).


Quite late, but since I was out of town for a couple of days, I figured I'd answer viva's question.

I started rooting for Frenchy because of the bacon thing he did with the fans in Oakland, engaging them throughout the game and tossing them a ball with $100 taped to it when it was over. Subsequent similar stories revealed a guy who just really enjoys being a major league ballplayer, and tries to make it enjoyable for others inside and outside the game. That's why I root for him. I don't tend toward the contrarian, so the backlash doesn't factor into it.

My team allegiance works as well. I doubt I'd like him as much if he was putting up sub-replacement numbers for the Red Sox. But he never got the call there, so his lack of productivity was never an issue.

Hope that clears things up, though honestly I can't imagine why anyone's particular player choice would be so hard for someone else to fathom.
   60. Monty Posted: February 23, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4661110)
I like Jeff Francoeur, because:

1) He seems to me to be a nice guy, and
2) Thanks to BBTF, I know just about everything about his career.
   61. BDC Posted: February 23, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4661114)
I guess I should say that while Francoeur's limitations are obvious, he was an excellent fourth outfielder during his one month in Texas in 2010. A good memory from that pennant season. And as we've often said in Francoeur threads, his stat line looks as bad as it does because teams try to use him as an everyday middle-of-the-order hitter, when he should be a rightfield-caddy lefty-masher extra OF. Another case of how being on a good team makes players look better; I guess that's sort of by definition.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Don Malcolm
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2014
(983 - 9:33pm, Nov 23)
Last: Into the Void

NewsblogRed Sox trying for mega-free agent double play: Panda and Hanley - CBSSports.com
(11 - 9:27pm, Nov 23)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8646 - 9:26pm, Nov 23)
Last: Joey B.

NewsblogPirates DFA Ike Davis, clear path for Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(13 - 9:15pm, Nov 23)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

NewsblogMatthews: Cashman sleeps on the street, says all is quiet on the free-agent front
(22 - 9:12pm, Nov 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Ballot
(10 - 9:09pm, Nov 23)
Last: MrC

NewsblogPablo Sandoval leaning toward Red Sox, to decide next week — Padres have highest offer, all offers on table (including SF Giants’) - John Shea
(32 - 9:04pm, Nov 23)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(4207 - 8:44pm, Nov 23)
Last: GregD

NewsblogMike Schmidt: Marlins' Stanton too rich too early? | www.palmbeachpost.com
(31 - 6:53pm, Nov 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(451 - 6:43pm, Nov 23)
Last: JuanGone..except1game

NewsblogCashman in wait-and-see mode on retooling Yanks | yankees.com
(22 - 6:14pm, Nov 23)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogKemp drawing interest, raising chance he's the Dodgers OF dealt - CBSSports.com
(21 - 6:09pm, Nov 23)
Last: Pops Freshenmeyer

NewsblogSunday Notes: Arroyo’s Rehab, Clark & the MLBPA, Doc Gooden, AFL Arms, ChiSox, more
(16 - 5:53pm, Nov 23)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogAstros interested in Robertson: source | New York Post
(15 - 5:45pm, Nov 23)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogBraves shopping Justin Upton at a steep price | New York Post
(33 - 4:24pm, Nov 23)
Last: spike

Page rendered in 0.7460 seconds
52 querie(s) executed