Rightfielder Jeff Francoeur is on fire, and over his last eleven games, he is batting .451 with a .500 OBP, .559 SLG, and a 1.023 OPS.
The streak coincides with the meeting he had with manager Jerry Manuel before the first game of the Phillies series.
Manuel told Francoeur to tune out all the advice he had been getting and follow his own instincts, those same instincts that had him leading the Mets in nearly every offensive category in early April.
During this span, Frenchy has struck out only four times in 38 at-bats while drawing four walks. He is batting .500 in June and has a nine game hitting streak.
Even if you were to include his slump, Francoeur has been lethal against lefthanded pitching this season, batting .375 with an .874 OPS this season. He has brought his numbers back to respectability and is now batting .264 this season with 30 RBI’s, second only to David Wright. He continues to improve his strikeout rate and has just 33 strikeouts this season which compares favorably to David Wright 69K and Jason Bay 55K.
“The one thing I’ve always been able to do is grind through at-bats, grind through slumps,” Francoeur said. “I’ve always come out of the other side pretty good.”
Hopefully, Francoeur can find a middle ground between his torrid hot streaks and equally bad slumps and strive to be more consistent as a hitter.
With Carlos Beltran now just 3-4 weeks away, something’s gotta give in the Mets current outfield configuration, and only Jason Bay is a lock to remain an everyday player.
If Francoeur can give the Mets a sign that he has turned the corner and become a more patient and consistent hitter, he might just keep his starting job in rightfield over Angel Pagan who doesn’t have nearly the cannon arm that Frenchy has. That said, Frenchy’s defense on it’s own, is not enough to keep Pagan from cutting into his playing time in a platoon. Frenchy should have all of June to prove he deserves to remain the everyday rightfielder.
During last night’s game, Ike Davis who had been hitless in his last nine games, broke out of his slump during the Mets’ 6-1 win over the Marlins. He had a career-high four hits in the game and later said that he did it with the aid of Francoeur’s bat.