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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kernan: Mets’ Francoeur says he’ll hit 27 home runs this season

Great Von Tilzero-sum!...I smell a Primer O/U kid poll on Francoeur’s claim.

Francoeur’s swing has never been more consistent and explosive. How’s this for being positive: Francoeur said he believes he can hit around 27 home runs this season and that Wright will bounce back in a monster way.

“David’s going to hit 35,” Francoeur predicted with a smile.

Add a typical Jason Bay season to the mix and those three players basically match last year’s 95 home run total for the Mets. Perhaps, they will be punch-less no more.

... “One of my big goals is to have better pitch recognition,” said Francoeur, who hit .311 as a Met. “Sometimes you try to say it doesn’t bother you to swing at a bad pitch, but it does. I’m human. I want to get better because I know if I can get better at that the rest of my game will follow. If I can mix in 50-60 walks, I become a totally different guy.

“Last year I was able to drive the ball because I got myself into a lot of 2-0, 2-1 counts, something I’ve never done,” he said. “The pitcher’s got to come to you and you can do damage.”

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2010 at 12:16 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, sabermetrics

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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. flournoy Posted: February 25, 2010 at 12:48 PM (#3467824)
But batting practice homers don't count, Jeff.
   2. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 25, 2010 at 01:26 PM (#3467830)
Mets' Francoeur thinks he'll be in AAA this year
   3. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: February 25, 2010 at 01:29 PM (#3467831)
Well, at least he's saying the right things. That's an improvement.
   4. formerly dp Posted: February 25, 2010 at 01:39 PM (#3467833)
Well, at least he's saying the right things. Isn't that what every stathead has been saying about him for years? Can't really argue with that.

Swinging at the first pitch last year, he hit .372/.584. 2-0 he was .381/.524. 2-1 .405/.595.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 25, 2010 at 01:47 PM (#3467834)
his batting eye is in the best shape of its life
   6. Torn_cuff (Special Ability Extra) Posted: February 25, 2010 at 01:50 PM (#3467836)
Hell I wish I was Jeff Francoeur...we should all suck so hideously. Fifteen minutes of his batting practice would probably surpass the excitement of most peoples' lives. Not mine of course. And yes I fly Delta.
   7. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: February 25, 2010 at 01:56 PM (#3467839)
Jeff always says the right things. He'll "Baby, I know I've done wrong and I'm ready to do better" you until you have Battered Fan Syndrome.
   8. bobm Posted: February 25, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3467842)
Francoeur said he believes he can hit around 27 home runs this season ...

Francoeur, who hit .311 as a Met.


Ironically, ".311" was also Francoeur's blood-alcohol level when he made this prediction.
   9. Perro(s) Posted: February 25, 2010 at 02:15 PM (#3467848)
Before I made fun of him, I did check and see that Frenchy hit 10 HRs and put up a 120 ops+ in less than a half season with the Mess...and he is just 26. Francouer will never be a star, but he could become a useful player over the next couple of years.

27 homers is not that unlikely, but I'll believe 50 walks when I see it.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2010 at 02:18 PM (#3467849)
I was wondering why he chose the number 27. Then I realized its the number of daily flights you can take on Delta from JFK to several non-stop destinations across the country.
   11. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 25, 2010 at 02:24 PM (#3467853)
I was gonna quote Wayne's World

Cha! And pigs might fly out of my butt!


But then I started thinking about it, and realized that Jeffy Froglegs could very easily hit 27 dingers and still suck.
   12. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 25, 2010 at 02:31 PM (#3467858)
But then I started thinking about it, and realized that Jeffy Froglegs could very easily hit 27 dingers and still suck.

Not in Jeffy's mind.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2010 at 02:36 PM (#3467860)
But then I started thinking about it, and realized that Jeffy Froglegs could very easily hit 27 dingers and still suck.

Right. He'd better hit at least 27 HR's or he's going to be less than useless.

Francouer will never be a star, but he could become a useful player over the next couple of years.

I also think this is possible. He's a gifted athlete and he's shown flashes here and there. I still think he makes more sense for a team like the Pirates or Royals than for a mega-payroll team like the Mets.
   14. bunyon Posted: February 25, 2010 at 02:37 PM (#3467861)
I think he's an excellent example of the fact that pitch-recognition is not an acquired ability. Sure, you can improve it a bit, much like you can train and get a little faster. But a fast guy is born fast and a slow guy is born slow. Training or lax training can increase or decrease some, but not much. I take Francouer at his word: he'd like to have better pitch recognition. But he just can't do it. No need to pile on the guy. Unlike these physical traits, GMs should be able to learn better how to value players and, yet, they don't.
   15. Perro(s) Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:02 PM (#3467880)
Is 120 OPS+ small sample size? Cos that's not suck..
   16. formerly dp Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3467882)
I think he's an excellent example of the fact that pitch-recognition is not an acquired ability. Sure, you can improve it a bit, much like you can train and get a little faster. But a fast guy is born fast and a slow guy is born slow. Training or lax training can increase or decrease some, but not much. I take Francouer at his word: he'd like to have better pitch recognition. But he just can't do it. No need to pile on the guy.

I didn't read all those articles about Frenchy when he was a Brave, but has he talked like this before? I always thought he had an approach that didn't really value working the count, and thought he was one of those guys who just didn't need to walk. If he can walk 50-60 times, he'll be a much more worthwhile player. I'm not putting money on it. But the Mets do have Wright and Beltran- two hitters who are very successful at driving the ball because they work the count. Maybe they'll teach him a few things.
   17. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:09 PM (#3467885)
I didn't read all those articles about Frenchy when he was a Brave, but has he talked like this before?

Every March. Frechy learning to take a walk is like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano.
   18. bfan Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:12 PM (#3467888)
In 2006 he hit 29 HR's and had an OPS+ of 87. There are a lot of little things he does poorly; you know, all of those things that don't show up in the box-score that help a team lose.
   19. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3467925)
Well, at least he's saying the right things. That's an improvement.


No it's not. He's been saying exactly the same thing - "this year I'm going to be more selective and put it all together" - since 2007. Saying != doing.
   20. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:45 PM (#3467929)
If he can walk 50-60 times, he'll be a much more worthwhile player.


Sure, and if Martin Prado can hit 30 homers he'll be a much more worthwhile player, too.
   21. Marty Winn Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:45 PM (#3467930)
I'll take the under. These conversations are so much more pleasant when they take place among Mets fans than Braves fans (like me).
   22. formerly dp Posted: February 25, 2010 at 03:49 PM (#3467933)
"this year I'm going to be more selective and put it all together" - since 2007. Saying != doing.

When he was on the Braves, I just mocked those articles and never read them. Now that he's with the Mets, I have to be legitimately interested in what he says.

I'm wondering if there's any chance Pagan takes the job if he has a hot April and Francouer sucks. When Beltran comes back, it would be nice for the pitching staff if the OF was Bay/Beltran/Pagan.
   23. flournoy Posted: February 25, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3467945)
But the Mets do have Wright and Beltran- two hitters who are very successful at driving the ball because they work the count. Maybe they'll teach him a few things.


...

If Frucky didn't learn this from Chipper Jones, he sure isn't going to learn it from either of those two dudes.
   24. Kyle S at work Posted: February 25, 2010 at 04:28 PM (#3467963)
   25. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 25, 2010 at 04:28 PM (#3467964)
If Frucky didn't learn this from Chipper Jones, he sure isn't going to learn it from either of those two dudes.


Reported by Jeff Schultz in the AJC, June 15, 2009:

Chipper Jones had some interesting things to say on Francoeur the other day when I asked him. The first thing stood out the most: “He’s got a million batting coaches. A million. And he’s listening to all of them.” (Feel free to read between the lines.)

But Jones believes the problems with Francoeur are not all mental: “He’s tried. He’s worked. But he has some fundamental issues that he can’t feel. You can tell him don’t arm-bar at the plate [keeping arm stiff and parallel to ground]. I can show him what it does to his swing but he can’t fix it because he can’t feel it. If you can’t feel it, you can’t make the adjustment. You can show him his stance in his rookie year and show him last year and all the major differences. But he doesn’t feel it.”


That's not to say he *can't* put something together this year, but this is not a new event in Jeffy's life. He's been in the "I'm going to be more selective at the plate" spring training trough before.
   26. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 25, 2010 at 04:41 PM (#3467981)
May 2009: "If on base percentage is so important, why don't they put it on the scoreboard?"



Did he really say that? Because Turner Field DOES post OBP on the scoreboard.
   27. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2010 at 04:43 PM (#3467982)
Did he really say that? Because Turner Field DOES post OBP on the scoreboard.

He did say it and he's been roundly mocked for it because of the fact you cite. That and his weird coprorate-speak blog and the endless AJC fluff pieces about him have made him Primer's favorite whipping boy the last few years.
   28. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 25, 2010 at 04:43 PM (#3467983)
Is 120 OPS+ small sample size? Cos that's not suck..

120 OPS+ isn't a sample size at all. The 308 PA in which Francoeur achieved it is a fairly small sample size, much like the 324 PA in which he had a 68 OPS+ for the Braves before the trade.
   29. Ron Johnson Posted: February 25, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3467997)
Well the run, jump and throw guys do occasionally make you glad you waited. Bill James had some very unkind things to say about the Jays and Lloyd Moseby for instance and Moseby turned into a pretty useful player after sucking for 3 years. Of course Moseby was 23 in his 4th year.
   30. Kyle S at work Posted: February 25, 2010 at 05:03 PM (#3468008)
much like the 324 PA in which he had a 68 OPS+ for the Braves before the trade.

Which was, of course, immediately preceded by 652 PAs of 72 OPS+ in 2008.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 25, 2010 at 05:05 PM (#3468011)
I still think he makes more sense for a team like the Pirates


Don't try to pawn that #### off on us.
   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 25, 2010 at 05:07 PM (#3468014)
If the Pirates ended up with Ryan Church, Lastings Milledge and Jeff Francœur it would certainly be something. Is Brian Schneider available?
   33. billyshears Posted: February 25, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3468019)
I like Francoeur for a 100 OPS+ this season.
   34. My Grate Friend, Peason Posted: February 25, 2010 at 05:16 PM (#3468030)
I still think he makes more sense for a team like the Pirates


Don't try to pawn that #### off on us.


Seriously.
   35. kthejoker Posted: February 25, 2010 at 05:54 PM (#3468068)
Don't they have the batting-cage equivalent of those golf-swing devices that have ropes that use tension and resistance to correct (or at least, identify) the flaws in your swing? Surely there are some actual physical correction devices for batting swings.
   36. Something Other Posted: February 25, 2010 at 06:19 PM (#3468094)
Before I made fun of him, I did check and see that Frenchy hit 10 HRs and put up a 120 ops+ in less than a half season with the Mess...and he is just 26. Francouer will never be a star, but he could become a useful player over the next couple of years.
As a 4th OFer, the short side of a platoon, ph kind of guy, for $2m or so, he'd be quite useful. He's miscast as a regular.

I'm wondering if there's any chance Pagan takes the job if he has a hot April and Francouer sucks. When Beltran comes back, it would be nice for the pitching staff if the OF was Bay/Beltran/Pagan.
Indeed it would be, but there's no chance whatever this happens. Francouer will get at least half a year of complete suck to put it together for his $5m. The Mets haven't evinced any understanding of sunk costs, or of roster construction. I don't expect them to get religion any time soon.

Speaking of betting on pitcher's ERAs, it just occurred to me there're going to be a whole lot of innings featuring the outfield of Bay-Matthews-Francouer. I'm also looking forward to some extra innings extravaganzas where the last few innings feature Murphy-Bay-Francouer.
   37. Bug Selig Posted: February 25, 2010 at 11:54 PM (#3468455)
I'd rather he said, "I'm going to draw 50 walks this season. Pitchers know I'll swing at anything so I last saw a strike in AA."
   38. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 26, 2010 at 12:08 AM (#3468467)
Is Brian Schneider available?

Nope, backup to Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies. Certainly should be an improvement over Bakocoste.
   39. formerly dp Posted: February 26, 2010 at 04:22 AM (#3468562)
I'm also looking forward to some extra innings extravaganzas where the last few innings feature Murphy-Bay-Francouer.

How do you figure that? To start the season, the Mets will have Pagan with Matthews as the backup. Once Beltran comes back, they'll have 2 backup CFs on the roster. And Omar has already said Pagan's ahead of Matthews on the depth chart. The Mets have always like Pagan more than I thought was merited by his minor league performance. Based on his track record so far, this looks like the blind squirrel finding the nut.
   40. Shock Posted: February 26, 2010 at 04:29 AM (#3468564)
Add a typical Jason Bay season to the mix and those three players basically match last year’s 95 home run total for the Mets


I'll take the under on that (for those 3 players.) Anyone want to play?
   41. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 26, 2010 at 04:49 AM (#3468581)
Call me crazy but I bet Jeff Francoeur could make a pretty good hitting coach one day. He's absolutely aware of his flaw and when/if his career finally fizzles out, he'll know it was because it was his lack of selectivity at the plate. If what Scott Hattenberg says about crappy hitters making great hitting coaches is true, the lessons of Frenchy's career could have a lot of value to young hitters. I give Frenchy credit for acknowledging what's stopping him from being a great hitter.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2010 at 04:50 AM (#3468582)
The problem with Francoeur isn't just that he doesn't walk, it's that he doesn't hit for much average or power either. In 2007-2008 he averaged 40 walks a season, which is acceptable from a guy who brings something else to the table. If he could do that and bat .295, instead of .271, he'd basically be Garrett Anderson, who was a useful player for much of his career.

I think he's an excellent example of the fact that pitch-recognition is not an acquired ability. Sure, you can improve it a bit, much like you can train and get a little faster. But a fast guy is born fast and a slow guy is born slow. Training or lax training can increase or decrease some, but not much. I take Francouer at his word: he'd like to have better pitch recognition. But he just can't do it. No need to pile on the guy.

Jose Reyes is an example in the other direction, though. He walked in 3.6% of his 1254 PA in the majors through age 22, but has walked in 8.9% of his 2397 PA since then.

EDIT: That said, I agree that pitch recognition likely isn't a skill that everyone can learn. Some people can, some can't, just like hitting for power or stealing bases.
   43. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 26, 2010 at 04:52 AM (#3468583)
But Jones believes the problems with Francoeur are not all mental: “He’s tried. He’s worked. But he has some fundamental issues that he can’t feel. You can tell him don’t arm-bar at the plate [keeping arm stiff and parallel to ground]. I can show him what it does to his swing but he can’t fix it because he can’t feel it. If you can’t feel it, you can’t make the adjustment. You can show him his stance in his rookie year and show him last year and all the major differences. But he doesn’t feel it.”

This is a good point. I used to bowl (not well) and the guys on my team with 220 averages would say things like "make sure your thumb doesn't twist" and "keep your elbow in" and "pick up a g** d*** 10-pin on occasion". They would say these things all the time and I couldn't figure out how to actually do it. I didn't have a feel for where my thumb or elbow was, so I was incapable of knowing whether I was doing it right or wrong. So I couldn't form good habits.
   44. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 26, 2010 at 04:56 AM (#3468586)
Certainly should be an improvement over Bakocoste.
How was this pairing not known as CosKo?
   45. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: February 26, 2010 at 05:30 AM (#3468600)
27 HRs? Big deal. Can he eat 50 eggs?
   46. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: February 26, 2010 at 05:47 AM (#3468610)
Chipper Jones had some interesting things to say on Francoeur the other day when I asked him. The first thing stood out the most: “He’s got a million batting coaches. A million. And he’s listening to all of them.” (Feel free to read between the lines.)

And one of them's Sciambi!
   47. Colin Posted: February 26, 2010 at 11:54 PM (#3469105)
What I find funny about this is that 27 is short of the career high he set his sophomore year. So even Francouer isn't that optimistic about his own HR total.

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