Jeff Francoeur entered 2012 the darling of the casual Royals f..."/> Jeff Francoeur entered 2012 the darling of the casual Royals f..."/>

Keeping A Good Man Down


Jeff Francoeur entered 2012 the darling of the casual Royals fan. I’m referring to those people who never paid attention to his track record and assumed that his 2011 season was the norm and not the exception. Their changing attitudes towards the right fielder was actually rather interesting to watch. By August they were chanting “Free Wil Myers” along with the rest of us.

And why not? Factoring in playing time (600 minimum plate appearances) you can make a very credible argument he just put up the worst season in team history. Others have put up poorer numbers for sure, Angel Salazar and Tony Pena Jr come quickly to mind, but they weren’t allowed to continue playing every day, and that’s really the difference between a bad year and a historically awful year. For reasons known only to himself, Ned Yost sent Frenchy to the plate 603 times in 2012. And how did Frenchy reward Yost’s misguided loyalty?

By doing this:

1Jeff Francoeur-2.76032012
2Mark Teahen-1.56232008
3Jose Guillen-0.96332008
4Angel Berroa-0.96522005
5George Brett-0.66121993

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…and this:

1U L Washington716041983
2Willie Wilson746281988
3Joe Randa776362001
4Freddie Patek776301974
5Jeff Francoeur816032012

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……and this:

1Frank White.2846001985
2Jeff Francoeur.2876032012
3Brian McRae.2886631991
4Willie Wilson.2896281988
5Mike Moustakas.2966142012

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I wasn’t opposed to the two year deal Dayton Moore gave Frenchy last summer because I wrongfully assumed Myers was

September 24, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) walks back to dugout after striking out during the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

going to be dealt in the off season for pitching, and hey, somebody had to play right field. I would have preferred one year but I kind of understood Moore’s motivation. Or at least I thought I did. As you know, Myers wasn’t dealt, and was several kinds of awesome this year.

Reasons to keep Myers down ranged from he needed to work on his defense to he needed to cut down on his strikeouts, and my favorite, he wasn’t on the 40 man roster. Whatever. The first two may have been legit but the third one was just noise and wasn’t offered up as an excuse until late in the season.

I found Moore’s comments about not wanting to block young pitchers in 2014 amusing since Frenchy’s contract did exactly that to Myers. If Myers does get traded (Trevor Bauer, anyone?) this winter I think 600 plate appearances for Frenchy next season is an easy prediction to make. Which means with no one to push him for playing time, and his successor no longer in the organization, another contract extension is likely coming.