I've spent much of the early season annoyed by Jeff Francoeur's performance, feeling once again that the Royals made a roster mistake in extending their relationship with Francoeur based upon his comeback season in 2011. He hasn't been as good, right?
Well, take a look at his season lines:
- 2011: .285/.329/.476
- 2012: .280/.327/.450.
Jeff Francoeur has once again become Jeff Francoeur, or rather, he has become Royal-Era Jeff Francoeur. Even this year's line is above his career numbers.
So why my false perception? Well, starts play a big part of it. In April and May of 2011, Francoeur was pretty hot, carrying a slugging percentage between .550-.600 most of the time. By the end of the year that number, along with his OBP, had slid down all the way to .329/.476 but he started off on everyone's good side/their he's not completely awful side, and he stayed there.
Conversely, Francoeur struggled out of the gate this season. 19 games in, he hit what might have been his low point, as his season line fell to .227/.266/.293. Since then, he's slowly climbed his way back, hitting .316/.366/.553 in his last 123 PAs. This is what a hot Jeff Francoeur looks like: the batting average will pop up (driving up the OBP) and he'll hit doubles with some frequency.
I'll take it, since he's a CONSTANT presence in the lineup.