Crazy eyes, of course. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
I was looking at Jeff Francoeur's splits this morning and saw this:
Now, as a loyal stathead, I expected his leverage stats to be a) mostly random and if anything b) in the reverse, since just about all hitters do better with men on base (and those situations frequently have high leverage numbers). As you can see, those numbers above don't fit that data: the higher the leverage, the worse Francoeur has hit.
Don't take this as a FRANCOEUR ISN'T CLUTCH !! post, because I don't believe clutch guys or chokers really exist. Although, I wonder if a less beloved figure had stats like these, if we wouldn't have heard something about it already. However, Francoeur does have a pronounced lefty/righty split: he's an all-star against lefties (.369 OBP, .588 SLG) and a typical '00s Royal against righties (.313 OBP, .419 SLG).
Is it possible that it is simply too easy for opposing managers to exploit this platoon split in later innings?
Possibly, but here are Francoeur's late inning numbers:
I don't see much to support the notion that Francoeur is getting exploited by rightly-relievers that much late in games. He's actually better, in terms of pure innings, later in the game. To really get at the heart of this, we'd need to look at Francoeur's career numbers (more data) and specific situations one by one. That's a homework assignment, I suppose.
Overall, I think the safest conclusion is that Francoeur's leverage stats are just random. Carry on.