The General Manager of your baseball team thinks Jeff Francoeur is worthy to don the Royal blue. The manager of your baseball team thinks he's one of the best nine players at his disposal and dutifully fills out a lineup card with his name on it nearly every day.
Today I present to you the statistical case against Jeff Francoeur. (All numbers are through Sunday. After his 1-4 performance, it's not like they dramatically improved.)
-- His fWAR of -0.5 ranks him 20 out of 21 qualified right fielders. Only Minnesota's Chris Parmalee at -0.6 is worse.
-- With a .248 wOBA, Francoeur is the third worst outfielder in this category. Only Aaron Hicks and B.J. Upton are worse.
-- Francoeur's .096 ISO is tied with noted slugger Ichiro Suzuki for ninth worst among outfielders. At least he is ahead of Juan Pierre, Ben Revere and Denard Span.
-- Over the last two seasons, Francoeur's -1.9 fWAR is the worst in baseball at any position.
-- That he has stumbled so the last couple of years should come as a surprise to anyone who follows baseball. From 2008 through 2010 - the three seasons before he signed with the Royals - Francoeur posted a -0.7 fWAR. That was his age 24 through 26 seasons.
-- Among qualified outfielders, his .255 on base percentage ranks dead last. League average on base percentage is .323.
-- According to PITCHf/x, Francoeur has swung at 44.5 percent of pitches that are outside the strike zone. That's the worst rate in the American League and second only to Alfonso Soriano (45.9 percent) in all of baseball.
-- Overall, he is swinging at 56.5 percent of all pitches. Again, that is the highest swing percentage in the American League. Again, it is second only to Soriano at 57.2 percent.
-- On average, Francoeur is seeing 3.8 pitches per plate appearance. League average is 3.88 P/PA.
Situational Hitting and Base Running
-- Francoeur has come to bat with 96 runners on base. He has brought home nine of those runners. Since signing his contract extension, he has come to the plate with 451 runners on base. He has scored 43 of those runners. That's a 10 percent success rate. League average is 15 percent.
-- Nine times has Francoeur been at the plate with a runner on third and less than two outs. He's brought that runner home once. That is an 11 percent success rate. No other major leaguer with at least five opportunities has a lower percentage. League average is 51 percent.
-- According to Baseball Reference, Francoeur has taken an extra base (going first to third on a single or scoring from first on a double) one time all year.
-- Forty-nine percent of all balls fielded by a right fielder result in an out on average. Francoeur is average at converting fielded balls into outs.
-- According to The Fielding Bible +/- ranking, Francoeur is at a -5 on fielding plays so far this year. He has the most trouble going back on fly balls. (Duh.)
-- Also according to The Fielding Bible, Francoeur has cost his team two runs in the field so far this year. That ranks him 27th among all right fielders.
-- Royals General Manager Dayton Moore signed Francoeur to a two-year contract extension valued at $13.5 million on August 18, 2011. In the two seasons since that extension, he has been worth -$8.9 million. That's negative $8.9 million.
It cannot be said enough: In a year where the Royals decided to go "all-in" they traded a prospect who could play right field so that Jeff Francoeur could be their every day right fielder. The Royals - specifically Dayton Moore - thought Francoeur could contribute this season. Moore actually thought Francoeur could play in right field every day and not hurt the team with his bat or his glove. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
This is Exhibit A in the case against Dayton Moore.