Jeff Francoeur – Worst Everyday Player?

An article by posted on August 13, 2010

Joe Posnanski answered a question on his blog a few days back about who is the worst everyday player in baseball for 2010.

“A friend and I have a bet – I say Rony Cedeno, he says Chone Figgins. I know Yuni was your choice at one point last year, can you give us an update and settle a bet?”

His judgment of “The Worst Everyday Player in Baseball” goes by these qualities…

(1) Poor performance.
(2) Indications that the performance will never again improve and the team is trapped.
(3) All-around awfulness.

Here’s his choices; take a look at number seven on the list. You may recognize his name.

To me, the worst everyday player in MLB in 2010 discussion really comes to 10 players — I won’t pick a Least Valuable Player until after the season ends, but right now the nominees look to be these:

– Seattle’s Jose Lopez.
– Toronto’s Adam Lind.
– Houston’s Carlos Lee.
– Chicago’s Derrek Lee.
– Kansas City’s Jason Kendall.
– Kansas City’s Yuniesky Betancourt
New York’s Jeff Francoeur.
– St. Louis’ Skip Schumacher
– Washington’s Nyjer Morgan
– San Diego’s Miguel Tejada

And here’s his explanation on why Jeff Francoeur is on his list.

Jeff Francoeur is simply not a good enough hitter to play every day in the big leagues. Nobody is happy about this. Francoeur is by all accounts a terrific guy, he plays hard, he cares a lot, he has some defensive value. But, no matter how hard he tries, he cannot make the adjustments. His .295 on-base percentage this year is not good enough to be an every day outfielder. Everybody who knows Frankie loves the guy, which is why he leads all of baseball in “Adjustment Could Pay Off This Time” stories. But after a rookie rush that landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he has now had more than 4,000 plate appearances with a .307 on-base base percentage.

I think calling Jeff Francoeur the worst everyday player in baseball is absurd. Just to be considered on the list is just an outright slight! He has been the reason the Mets have won three of their last four victories. His defense bolsters any club, and his hitting isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. He currently has a .239 avg/.291 OBP/.381 SLG with 10 HRs and 47 RBIs. He may not have Angel Pagan numbers right now, but he did when the season opened. The everyday right fielder since his rookie season in Atlanta, is now the Mets split right fielder, and when Bay comes back, the Mets fourth outfielder.

I’ll admit, I wanted Francoeur to be traded to the Royals when the rumor was going around. Not because I didn’t want him around, but because the Mets could have gotten players who they needed more. He would have been an everyday player with the Royals for sure. That’s what Jeff needs to be in order to actually improve his hitting. He can’t do that in NY.

Also, everyone praises Ruben Tejada for his defense on this team. Yet the guy is hitting .186 in 118 at-bats. So what’s the big difference between Tejada having great defense and poor hitting, and Francoeur having great defense and poor hitting?

What do you think? Is Jeff Francoeur the “Worst Everyday Player In Baseball?” Should he even be considered? Who do you think should get that title on their record?

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