Softball Plays From Right Field


In the ensuing weeks after the Jeff Franceour two-year extension, it was inevitable that questions would be asked. Franceour’s a likeable guy but it just seemed that his signing last offseason was another one-year “band-aid” situation. Most people figured he would play the outfield  for a year, revive his career enough to become trade-bait, and leave an opening for Wil Myers either at the end of this season or at the beginning of 2012.

The fact that I was okay with signing Jeff Franceour in the offseason is well-documented. It makes me sound crazy because I’m a big fan of on base percentage and we all know Jeff’s aversion to being walked. If you weren’t as happy with the signing and if you find the fact that we signed him to an extension ridiculous, well, I’m not gonna argue with you. I can’t. It’s not like I have any great statistical reason to magically pull out and wave in your face and say “Looky Looky…here’s why the extension makes sense!”

Let me tell you a story that my dad has told me a few times. My dad throws left-handed and when he played little league he used to pitch. A lot. He pitched so much in fact that he threw his arm out when he was pretty young. I say this because he would often tell me about the softball exploits of his 20′s. He played the outfield and he always told me that he typically was good for about “one good throw a game.” Whenever he mentioned that he’d always tell me about his buddy that would play next to him in right field. Apparently this guy had a gun and would throw lasers from the outfield that would make my Pops green with envy.

Anyways, the story I remember most is the one he tells about the time his buddy picked up a ball hit to him in right field and threw the runner out…..at first.

Now, let’s be honest….we all know the typical make-up of guys who play slow-pitch softball. I hope you’re not offended by that. Hey, I play slow-pitch softball and I like to consider myself at least a broken-down husk of an athlete. But a lot of the time there are some pretty unathletic dudes out there on the diamond reliving their glory days.

Eh, I got off track sometimes. All I’m trying to say is that you can argue that throwing out a possible has-been from right field may not seem like a big deal, but my dad always argues that it is and I think that if you did it you’d probably brag about it to all of your bros.

Jeff Franceour threw a Mariner out at first this week.

From right field.

In a major league game.

I think that’s pretty cool. He also stole a home run as well. Like he literally stuck his arm over the fence and STOLE a home run despite a fan tipping it.

Oh and if I’m not mistaken, I believe they said on ESPN that Franceour is the first player in the MLB this year to have at least 40 doubles while nabbing 20 bases. Even an avid Jeff Franceour hater can’t find fault in that achievement.

I’m not trying to make you love Jeff Franceour. I never really try that hard to convince a person to completely come to my way of thinking for several reason. One being that I assume most people are as bull-headed about their opinions as I am and another being that often my opinions have a lot to do with personal sentiment. Sometimes that means I pick wrong, but I feel okay about Jeff Franceour. That may blow up in my face. I’m not always right, but I feel pretty good about it.

Now if we could just get the dude to take some walks.

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Tags: Baseball Jeff Franceour KC Royals

  • jim fetterolf

    Have you noticed that Frenchy’s walk percentage has risen after moving to the 5-slot while Billy’s has plummeted since moving to #3? BB% really isn’t an independent stat, which makes OBP questionable as indicative of individual performance. Really, if you’re an RHP are you going to let Billy walk down to 1st or are you can going to take the 7 in 10 chance of getting him out rather than putting him on base so you can face Hosmer? Can’t get a link to paste, so go to baseball reference, Billy Butler, batting, splits, 2011, batting order position. Frenchy batting 5th has a .349 OBP, Billy batting 3rd has a .346 OBP. Frenchy batting 4th is .291, Billy hitting 5th is .438. BB% has less to do with the hitter than who is following him. Batting ahead of Mike Aviles and Wilson Betemit is better for OBP than batting ahead of Hosmer or Gordon.

  • jim fetterolf

    Have you noticed that Frenchy’s walk percentage has risen after moving to the 5-slot while Billy’s has plummeted since moving to #3? BB% really isn’t an independent stat, which makes OBP questionable as indicative of individual performance. Really, if you’re an RHP are you going to let Billy walk down to 1st or are you can going to take the 7 in 10 chance of getting him out rather than putting him on base so you can face Hosmer? Can’t get a link to paste, so go to baseball reference, Billy Butler, batting, splits, 2011, batting order position. Frenchy batting 5th has a .349 OBP, Billy batting 3rd has a .346 OBP. Frenchy batting 4th is .291, Billy hitting 5th is .438. BB% has less to do with the hitter than who is following him. Batting ahead of Mike Aviles and Wilson Betemit is better for OBP than batting ahead of Hosmer or Gordon.

  • eric.akers

    @jim fetterolf Good point on OBP. The Royals have gotten a lineup where the pitchers can no longer just pitch around one or two guys in the lineup and be successful. If Moose continues to improve like most think he will, and Hosmer improves on an already terrific season, we could be seeing the best lineup since we had Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, and Mike Sweeney in the same lineup. Oh how we wasted all those runs that year…

  • eric.akers

    @jim fetterolf Good point on OBP. The Royals have gotten a lineup where the pitchers can no longer just pitch around one or two guys in the lineup and be successful. If Moose continues to improve like most think he will, and Hosmer improves on an already terrific season, we could be seeing the best lineup since we had Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, and Mike Sweeney in the same lineup. Oh how we wasted all those runs that year…

  • jim fetterolf

    @eric.akers With Savior Perez showing signs of a competent stick, the hope that Giavotella can hit better than Getz, and the brief flash we got of Escobar as a .280 hitter with a little pop, this could be the best Royals’ line-up ever. I still think we should move Melky to 2nd and bring Cain up, then we’ve got a scary line-up:)

  • jim fetterolf

    @eric.akers With Savior Perez showing signs of a competent stick, the hope that Giavotella can hit better than Getz, and the brief flash we got of Escobar as a .280 hitter with a little pop, this could be the best Royals’ line-up ever. I still think we should move Melky to 2nd and bring Cain up, then we’ve got a scary line-up:)

  • Ethan Evans (Royals Trenchfighter)

    Jim, you are always solid with the stat support. I hadn’t compared their splits before.

  • Ethan Evans (Royals Trenchfighter)

    Jim, you are always solid with the stat support. I hadn’t compared their splits before.