Francoeur: The Splits

Jeff Francoeur 2007 Batting Splits – Baseball-Reference PI

1. The most dramatic split, to me, though I don’t know what it means, is between power and finesse pitchers. Francoeur has been pretty useless against power (high K and/or high BB pitchers): .281/.324/.376. He’s done a lot of damage against finesse pitchers: .293/.325/.469. And he’s been better against neutral types: .299/.370/.451. I don’t know what the normal splits are, but what it looks like is that Jeff’s bat isn’t quick enough to handle the best fastballs.

2. While he’s been good with two out and runners in scoring position (.333/.402/.494) he’s not been good with two out generally (.269/.331/.394) I don’t know what this means either.

3. Francoeur for leadoff! Leading off an inning, he’s hit .289/.347/.474.

4. Or not. On the first pitch, he’s hit .328/.328/.570 with eight of his 17 homers.

5. Put up an OPS of .908 in March and April, .890 in July, but has been below .750 the rest of the time, .665 in June and .663 in September.

167 thoughts on “Francoeur: The Splits”

  1. Braves starters are 111-114 with seven complete games during two seasons under pitching coach Roger McDowell, or 21 wins more than Braves starters posted in 1998, when they were a remarkable 90-40 with 24 complete games. — Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  2. If you remember last year there was an analysis of Jeff’s swing which concluded exactly what you are saying in #1. That’s why he is one hitter for which Joe Simpson’s advice to go the other way makes a lot of sense. If you don’t swing fast enough to get around on a 95 mph fastball, then why not serve it to right field?

    Jeff has clearly improved overall from what he did last year, but he still leaves a lot to be desired for an everyday right fielder. He has a great arm with better accuracy than last year and he hasn’t been letting ground balls go under his glove with alarming regularity anymore. His baserunning is about as bad as you can get. 17 homeruns is not what you are looking for from an outfielder who plays 162 days a year.

    Jeff could improve and become a 30 homerun/120 rbi a year guy or he could stay about the same and get himself traded to Kansas City when he becomes arbitration eligible. I’m glad he didn’t accept the Braves’ long term contract offer. If I were the Braves, I’d let him play a few more years but keep my options open.

  3. #1, Orioles starters haven’t been very good the last 2 years. It’s more about who’s pitching than who’s pitching coach.

  4. A mild gem from Jeff Schultz today:
    “The Braves are three games back in the wild-card race with six games left. On a related note, MegaMillions is tonight.”

  5. Don Sutton has often commented on French’s inability to hit basically anything hard above the belt when the Braves play the Nats. He has a very long swing, essentially a breaking-ball speed bat. I question how high the ceiling is for a major league hitter that cannot really hit good fastballs. Frenchy has clearly improved this year but I suspect he is always going to be a player that looks better than he actually is and will be more popular (in part due to his looks) than his performance merits. I raised the question several days ago of whether trading Frenchy for pitching is an option the Braves should consider but I don’t know if other teams value him as much as the Braves seem to.

  6. Ububba, from the previous thread: saying a band sounds like Hank Williams backed by the Circle Jerks is quite possibly the best recommendation I have ever heard.

    Their first EP, Fervor, is pretty damn close to the best country record I’ve ever heard. And their cover of “Absolutely Sweet Marie” is right up there with “All Along the Watchtower” on the greatest songs ever list.

  7. He has got the weirdest splits I have ever seen. I’ve said he has improved myself. Now, he needs to put it all together, otherwise he’s going to be on the train to Mediocreville.

  8. The first thing that has to happen is that he needs to go on the DL, so that this fetish of playing everyday stops. I think he has some real bad games just because of tiredness. You can see it when he goes up to hit.

  9. Frenchy: He has improved his plate discipline (with less power, of course). And, in his short career, his RISP numbers are remarkably good & consistent. I’m not one to discount that.

    But, he is who he is. I’m not sure we have a better option for RF. If we do, let’s hear it.

    AAR,
    You mean “Greatest Dylan Covers”? Along with “My Back Pages” by The Byrds & a slew of others.

  10. A mild gem from Jeff Schultz today:
    “The Braves are three games back in the wild-card race with six games left. On a related note, MegaMillions is tonight.”

    Nice. Still, it’s not exactly impossible.

    Go 6-0.
    Have the suddenly depleted Pads go 3-3 or worse.
    Have the Rocks go 4-2 or worse.

    It’s just possible enough that I’ll stick it out until Chuckie gives up his third popfly homerun tonight.

  11. An email I just got from an office Metfan: “Do you think that we can get a quality start out of Chuck James tonight?”

    My response: “We? You just worry about the nasty Nats & your mouthbreathing Mets.”

  12. I would make that trade in a heartbeat. Bonderman was pitching hurt. I seriously doubt the Tigers would consider that.

  13. Maybe the Braves would have had a more rested bullpen because he did go seven and eight innings a lot, but… well, I’m not sure.

  14. Bonderman is a heckuva pitcher, and I’d take him in a heartbeat. I’d even take Dontrelle, if the price was right, on the off-chance that he could be fixed if you moved him to a team that didn’t utterly suck.

    By the way, Ububba, I think you’ll find that the list of greatest songs ever and the list of greatest Bob Dylan covers are more than just kissing cousins.

  15. Sam,

    His ERA+ was better than Davies’, Carlyle’s, Reyes’, and Cormier’s. He’d have helped.

    Plus, like I said, he was pitching hurt. Take out his last 10 or so starts and check his stats.

    AAR,

    Did you ever read that Carlos Gomez article on Dontrelle’s mechanics?

  16. Bonderman is 24 years old. There’s no way in hell the Tigers would do that trade. Dave Dombrowski is not a dumb GM.

  17. Jeremy,

    I agree with you. I’m just trying to point out the folly in the claim that he wouldn’t be much of an addition.

  18. Another thought re: Francoeur. I’m not dissenting from the long swing viewpoint, but it also seems plausible to me that he has trouble with high K/high BB pitchers because they have a tendency to be wild, and Francoeur still has a tendency to chase bad pitches. Whereas the “finesse” pitcher, who is trying to at least stay around the plate, is less likely to throw a really crappy pitch that Francoeur may swing at anyway. I have no idea how to substantiate this, just throwing the idea out there.

  19. Stu, I did read that Gomez article (after you plugged the guy a number of times — good call), and had it in mind. I was thinking of bringing it up, but it slipped my mind.

    As far as I could tell, Gomez’ main point is that Dontrelle isn’t necessarily suffering from Steve Avery disease; he’s suffering from inconsistent mechanics, which leads to inconsistent release points, which leads to inconsistent control. Therefore, if he worked on that, and was on a team where he didn’t have to psychologically focus on being an ace, he might be able to be an effective pitcher again.

  20. Robertson sounds right – at least from the Tigers perspective. I cannot imagine Detroit giving up Bonderman, Verlander, or Miller for anything. As for the Braves, I probably wouldn’t do that deal, but then again, it’s probable that the market for pitchers this offseason will be even worse than that of last year.

  21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edHck6VKk_k

    Check out these highlights of Auburn/New Mexico St.

    One play in particular was amazing. At 2:21, Auburn has it 3rd and 5 from the NMSU 36. The line to make is about the NMSU 30, the ball needs to be just shy of the 30 to secure the first down. Cox finds Robert Dunn who makes an amazing play.

    (Please ignore the helmet-to-helmet on the highlight before that which leads to a fumble and Auburn TD)

  22. Regarding Frenchy, as others have mentioned, it’s his swing that is just too long. He generates plenty of bat speed; he just takes sooo long getting from start to finish that it doesn’t matter. What he really needs to do is change his swing around to make it more compact. If he can do that while maintaining bat speed, he’ll turn into a star with the bat.

    And while the BA increase has been nice (along with the higher walk rate), I’m mildly worried about the loss of power. Not that he’s lost it but more that whatever he did to increase the BA and walks has cost him some power.

    At least he’s one helluva defender in right.

  23. Francouer’s .SLG in 2006: .449
    Francouer’s .SLG in 2007: .432

    I’d say that’s well within the lines of normal fluctuation from year to year. I’m surprised that with all the Andruw Jones criticism that goes on around here there aren’t tons of people waiting to point out that the HR is not the end all and be all of hitting.

  24. Hitting .220’s right-handed and in the .370’s left-handed.

    Maybe time for Chipper Jones to consider batting only left-handed?

  25. No matter what happens in this last week, this finish is making me proud to be a Braves fan. It would have been so easy for the team to just give up after that last series with the Mets. I have to give alot of credit to Bobby Cox for not letting the team get down.

  26. According to Gameday, all 6 pitches to Andruw were between 76 and 82 miles per hour.

    This would be a bit like when Yogi Berra used to talk about catching Eddie Lopat “with a Kleenex.”

  27. Mr. SAE- Look at his IsoP. It’s down like .050 points. The reason his SLG looks okay is because his BA is lot higher. Basically, he’s hit more singles this year.

  28. I hope Howard sets the strikeout record against Chuck James, because as Chip says, Chuck’s fastball is “sneaky quick.”

    Right.

    He’ll go over 200 with Hudson and Smoltz pitching.

  29. Isn’t Ryan Howard (185 strikeouts) still tied for the most strikeouts in a single season? Maybe James can help him out tonight.

  30. Ok. Point taken. Given the fact that Francouer is pretty much going to play no matter what, I’m still pretty happy with his production this season. I don’t think I could have lived through another 600 AB like he gave us last year.

  31. Braves radio just reported that WAshington has knocked Glavine out in the first inning with 4 runs.

  32. Maybe Chuck gives us a strong 6 and the pen takes care of business.

    Anybody know how Soriano’s appeal hearing went today?

  33. I’m with you, AAR. Incredibly frustrated because I just felt a twinge of hope for the first time in a month. Thoroughly disgusting.

  34. Anyone know if those “strikes” are as far off the plate as Gameday is telling me they are?

    Strike three to Escobar would have either hit a left-handed batter or been behind him. With CB Bucknor in play, anything is possible.

  35. with this new playoff format it is entirely possible if the Braves make it to go pretty deep in the play offs. There are a ton of off days and that means less pitchers used

  36. That Andruw double gave me an uncomfortable memory of when he was a threat at the plate. Ugh. This season was a bad one to have a career-worst.

  37. Is he really trying to bunt with two outs and McCann on second? What does he think is going to happen?

  38. Sorry for the faulty reportage above. Maybe they said that Glavine had been knocked around rather than knocked out and I just misheard it.

  39. Nats got one in the third to make it 5-2. They better just keep scoring, they are going to need about ten to win this one.

  40. What a weird outing by James. He was getting swings-and-misses a TON (witness all the strikeouts), but 3 HRs in less than 4 innings? I know it’s a bandbox, but it wasn’t like there was any question about any of those.

    Ehh. New ball game now. :-/

  41. Jorge Sosa is watching this game in the Mets’ clubhouse and wondering how a Braves pitcher can give up so many homeruns.

  42. It’s been a long season on Braves Journal. My first in my 17 seasons as a fan. And I’ve laughed at lot at comments while on this bored, but in my haze of mid semester law schoolness…#88 made me laugh harder than I have all season.

  43. This game has really turned around. Those homeruns to blow a three run lead in the fourth inning turned this game around.

    Another quick out and a strikeout but McCann trys to backhand the ball and now the Phillies have all the momentum.

    Again the Braves gave us hope, and it looks like they’re going to wilt under the pressure again.

  44. Jeremy,

    I… don’t follow you. It’s most likely that they were going to intentionally walk Howard anyway, so it wouldn’t have mattered.

  45. They were going to walk Howard with first base occupied? Which it would’ve been had Diaz thrown to the correct base.

  46. Whatever. They got lucky. I’m just sick and tired of watching runners take extra bases because our OFs are idiots that like to airmail cutoff men and throw to the wrong bases.

  47. What is with McCann this year? I remember him being very solid defensively the past 2 years. Is it injuries or is he just getting lazy on defense? Whatever it is, he needs to put in some work in the offseason on his catching.

  48. I like this lineup we have tonight. Anybody notice we started to win when Diaz played more and Harris played less? However, Kelly Johnson has now officially been thrown off the side of the earth. Will he play again this season? (Nothing against Escobar, but ever since Renteria came back, bye-bye KJ)

  49. Ron,

    McCann has been playing with an injury all year which will require surgery. He never has used it as an excuse but it’s extremely painful to move to the right on a “wild pitch”.

  50. re: 123

    By reverting to their early season form when it’s already too late to make a difference. Barring a miracle I’ll probably always remember this team as the one that should have been. It’s just too good of a team to be in this position.

  51. RE McCann playing hurt–even more reason why Cox should have given him more rest in games that aren’t close.

    Other than the clown who threw me out of a little league game, Bucknor has to the worst ump on the planet.

  52. Chase Utley was the only hitter that I still feared even when Smoltzie was closing games. I hope he does not get another AB this game.

  53. Seriously, how awesome is Moylan? It seems like every other inning he’s out there he gets a soft come-backer. I guess tonight was an “off-night”. :-D

  54. with the way we’re FINALLY playing now, consistently too, how sweet would it be to somehow make the playoffs?

    I know I’m dreaming but still.

    Man so frustrating that we’ve been unable to put any kind of streak together until now.

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