Jeff Francoeur is destined to be the Kansas City Royals' rightfielder....every day. Bob Dutton, who has way better sources than any of us when it comes to the Royals, has reiterated as much to anyone who will listen on Twitter or in print. It is a curious, at best, 'sure thing'. Listen, I have little doubt that Frenchy is a great guy in the clubhouse (at least as long as he is playing everyday). A leader, a chemistry guy and certainly a bit of a 'don't be a punk' enforcer. Every clubhouse needs a couple of those veteran types and most have them, but the Royals seem to put such a premium on those qualities as to overlook what the player actually does, you know, on the field. As Connor wrote last week, it would be nice if the Royals were actively in the market for another outfielder. After Alex Gordon, the team really is relying on an essentially unproven Lorenzo Cain to stay healthy and for Francoeur to bounce back. They are not, or certainly not in the market for the likes of Michael Bourn, and instead seem almost insanely sure that Francoeur will be a productive player in 2013. Production is a long way from the .235/.287/.378 and -1.2 fWAR of Jeff's 2012. Those very basic numbers were just the tip of the iceberg as both the fielding and baserunning metrics also reflected a dramatic decline. Of course, you didn't need those stats to tell you that Frenchy was slower on the bases and getting to much less in the field. All you needed was your eyes. Worse, Francoeur could not even hit lefties in 2012, managing just a .225/.307/.388 line against southpaws. Pair that with his usual struggles against righthanders (.239/.278/.374 in 2012 and .257/.297/.405 for his career) and you have just a big steaming pile of ugh. How many great throws from the outfield (and don't get me wrong, Frenchy can throw it like no one else) do you have to have to make up for poor range, poor baserunning and a .285 wOBA (6th worse in baseball)? I don't know, about a hundred, maybe? So, there is a bunch of paragraphs telling you what you already knew. That Jeff Francoeur was pretty awful in 2012 and the Royals are pretty foolish to be so dead set in making him the unchallenged incumbent in right field for 2013. Particularly given that said player, in seven full major league seasons has a career line of .266/.310/426, has managed to exceed 1.1 fWAR only twice and actually went negative two other times.
Anyone But Frenchy
Royals Review | Jan 7