Jeff Francoeur’s 2011 season will go down as the most overrated season any Royal has ever had. It wasn’t a great season. Wasn’t. In fact, it was average, perfectly average, when compared to all the other right fielders in baseball that year.
Yet because it’s spring and because there’s seemingly two camps you can be in as a Royals fan, the We’re Going To The Playoffs! or the Negative Pop Tart Brigade (rational thought is usually confused for the latter), the rewriting of history has begun and it’s being centrally focused on right field.
The entire 2013 Royals season is being built on the what-ifs and progressions and the career rejuvenations of more than half the projected 25-man roster, but no player has fans arguing against logic more than Jeff Francoeur, especially with what he’s done in a Royals uniform.
So now we continue the series that was started a couple months ago, and to further show just how average-at-best Jeff Francoeur is as a major league baseball player, despite how very much some fans want to make it seem as if he was an All-Star caliber performer in 2011. The reality is, Jeff Francouer wasn’t in 2011 (and certainly isn’t now) even one of the best right fielders, not even counting all outfielders.
Here are some more facts about that fabled 2011 season in which Jeff Francoeur lost weight, changed his approached, and still was exactly average among players at his own position:
In 2011 Jeff Francoeur finished with a 2.9 fWAR good for 14th among just right fielders.
In 2011 among all outfielders, Jeff Francoeur finished 32nd in fWAR.
In 2011 Jeff Francoeur finished with a negative-3.5 in FanGraphs Ultimate Base Running, good for 97th out of 102 right fielders.
If traditional stats are your thing:
In 2011 Jeff Francoeur finished with 87 RBI, good for 8th among just right fielders.
In 2011 Jeff Francoeur finished with a .285 batting average, good for 10th among just right fielders.
In 2011 Jeff Francoeur finished with 20 homeruns, good for 13th among just right fielders.
In 2011 Jeff Francoeur finished with a .476 slugging percentage, good for 12th among just right fielders.
In 2011 Jeff Francoeur finished with a .329 on-base percentage (second best in his career over a full season), good for 20th among just right fielders.
And then there’s this:
Jeff Francoeur’s fWAR rank among qualified right fielders each year of his career starting in 2006: 20th, 6th, 22nd, 23rd, 22nd, 14th, 22nd.
To put it another way: in seven full major league seasons Jeff Francoeur has finished 20th or worse among just right fielders in fWAR five times.