Feb. 24.10: Wondering about Frenchy.

His thumb is good, so that shouldn’t be an issue with Jeff Francoeur. That doesn’t mean the Mets’ right fielder isn’t without questions or concerns.

Francoeur’s attitude – and his performance – was a breath of fresh air in a stagnant clubhouse of a listless team last summer. He played with an energy the team had been lacking, bringing with him from Atlanta that “grit” the Mets have long been accused of lacking.

However, Francoeur has been an enigma for several years, with his stock falling since he hit a career-high 29 homers with 103 RBI in 2006. Believe it or not, that is the only season he’s hit 20. He hit 19 with 105 RBI in 2007, but his numbers have been on a downward spiral since.

That’s probably why he cost the Mets only Ryan Church.

Francoeur cited a change of scenery as giving him a lift last season, and perhaps that was the case. He hit .311 with 10 homers and 41 RBI in 289 at-bats for the Mets. That projects to a decent season of a little more than 20 homers and 82 RBI. Even so, it is still shy of his best season.

So, what do we expect from Francoeur if healthy and him getting over 600 at-bats? Would it be the change of scenery and a new Francoeur? Will it be another disappointment?

Not a lot has been made of Francoeur being an issue, but his career is at a crossroads and it will be interesting, and important, to the Mets to find out in which direction he’s going.

22 thoughts on “Feb. 24.10: Wondering about Frenchy.

  1. Because he doesn’t draw walks, he needs to hit about .310 in order to be league-average in OBP. That’s his big drawback.

    Everyone here likes to complain about scenarios in which all the “what ifs” have to fall in place — and this is especially true for Frenchy: He basically has to replicate what he did in NY last year every year in order to be worthy of a corner OF spot.

    I don’t see him with a future in Queens, not with Bay signed for the next four years, and F-Mart and Ike Davis knocking on the door. Among those three, you’re probably looking at the two corner OFs and 1B for the future.

  2. All reports say that Jayson Werth’s days in Philly are over after this year. Sign him to play RF for the next 3 years if he’ll sign that contract and say bye bye to Frenchy.

  3. (1) They are also talking up F-Mart as Beltran’s possible replacement. I don’t know how realistic that is, I mean he did play an o.k. Center, but I see him more likely like you said as the future Right Fielder for the Mets, or future Left Fielder for another team.

  4. (2) JD: If Werth puts together another very good year, he is gone. He’ll cost too much. They also will have one of their prospects ready, don’t remember his name, to take over if he leaves. Now, will the Mets pay him “Bay” money? Good question. If Mauer ends up making it to free agency, then I would throw all my money at him.

  5. (3) The Phils have something like $130 million already committed to about 15 players for 2011, not including Werth. And, then, they face the daunting task of re-upping Howard, Rollins and Werth.

    Conventional wisdom says they can’t afford to spend much more than $140 million, based on their market size, and that, of the trio, they will let Werth walk, possibly to be replaced by the young outfield prospect they _didn’t_ trade this past year.

    Some Phillie fans have already fitted Werth for pinstripes and a Bronx mailing address.

  6. Pingback: Delcos on Francoeur | Mostly Mets

  7. 3/6. Werth is the only FA after ’10. Domonic Brown is their prospect outfielder, baseball America’s # 15. But despite their money issues, they have started talks with Werth.
    4. Yes, Mauer is the guy that a team should go nuts for. Unfotunately that NYC team that will win that war is in the Bronx. FMART, I don’t see him as a full time center fielder either.
    1. I agree about Francoer. He’s an average guy with some pop and many drawbacks. The love affair was the same one that was hyped up for the very over rated Church. Fortunately, they didn’t give him a multi year deal.

  8. Time will tell re: Frenchy, but it’s a good situation for the Mets. If he has a season like last year’s 2nd half, we’re in great shape. Either way, it gives F-Mart another chance to show he can stay healthy and productive at AAA.

    If both underperform, we look to the market in December. But if either one comes through, we can concentrate on pitching next Winter.

  9. (7) Yeah, if it ever got into a bidding war between the Mets and Yankees, I couldn’t see the Yankees losing out. The Mets would have to be at $25 mil per year to get him. Unless the Mets can also reacquire Ron Gardenhire, they’d be on a even playing field. LOL

  10. Agreed, it will be interesting to see what transpires with him this season. He seems like a great guy and will be good to have in the clubhouse, but as always what is more important is what he’ll do on the field.

    His energy and “grit” didn’t do anything to change what occurred on the field last season. The Mets actually played significantly worse after his arrival despite the fact that he played very well. Now that they have some guys healthy, have Bay, hopefully a back to normal Wright (and maybe Jeff can help with that), the surrounding team should be a lot better, but they are still likely going to need something from Jeff. He could be the nicest greatest clubhouse guy in the world, but if he reverts back to what he was doing his last couple yrs with ATL, unless the Mets get some great unexpected production elsewhere, Jeff would be hurting more than he’s helping.

  11. I like Jeff. I like his attitude. The team could use more of his grit. One player does not a grit make, but a lot of them can help you win.

    Why have the Phils beat us revently? On paper the refrain is we have had better teams. Could it be grit?

    FMart is not a CF. Maybe one day, but if he is our CF next year we have issues.

    I agree on Mauer. Perhaps that is why we do not have a starting catcher today.

  12. Maybe Frenchy not having to be “the man,” will help him more. I know Chipper was “The Man,” in Atlanta, but because of him being a local product, Francouer was a close second. If he could have a year like he had in 2007, I would take it from him.

  13. Why have the Phils won the NL East lately?

    How about injuries to the mets, and a golden horseshoe up their collective butts?

    07 – various injuries to pitchers. And outfielders.

    08 – see 07. If you don’t think the losses of Maine, Wagner et al impacted this team more than “lack of grit”, well, you rely on intangibles more than you should. And the Phils get career years from Lidge (who did not blow a save all season) among others.

    09 – a plague across the entire roster. Take Howard, Utley and Werth away from them (like the Mets lost Delgado, Beltran and Reyes) and see how they do.

  14. I am pleased to see people realizing that Frenchy is not a solution. Too often fans look at a small sample and get stars in their eyes. They guy has had a couple of bad years.
    My fear is he has a good year, and they overpay to sign him long term.

  15. 14. So you think those Phils are injury free. LOL Fantasy Island still on the air. Maybe thats wehre Fred and Jeffy go to make the big decisions.

  16. Harry – show me the similar injuries the Phillies had to the Mets.

    Oh, that’s right, you can’t.

    John – oh, of course the Phils are the favorites. The Mets have way too many questions. But at some point, luck changes. The Phils benefitted last year from the rest of the NL East being weak. Had they had any real competition, they would not have had as easy a time. Remember, they struggled quite a bit.

  17. (19)From the Phills in 2007:

    “The break will likely keep Utley on the disabled list for four-to-six weeks, and possibly the rest of the season. It’s the worst of many breaks in a year that already saw losses to starters Jon Lieber, Freddy Garcia, Brett Myers, Tom Gordon and Ryan Howard. This time, it takes away the No. 3 hitter, All-Star second baseman, clubhouse leader, fan favorite, and, with all due respect to Howard, arguably their Most Valuable Player.”

    You probably forgot that the Phills were pretty banged up that year and the Mets were pretty healthy. They just had poor pitching and poor managing by Willie, especially with the starting staff.

  18. 19, If you have a reading problem Mr Westchester then I suggest yoiu contact your local school district for some remedial help. I never said similar injuries, but I will give you 2 examples of the Phillies having injuries to their key players and not sitting on the butts and doing nothing like the the Mets did. How about their best player Chase Utley getting hurt down the stretch and instead of lying to the fans and saying he’ll be right back, they went out and got Iguchi for the stretch run. They didn’t say well what do we do with him when Chase comes back. They got help. How about Meyers going down and instead of lying to their fans and blaming others for their ills, they got Blanton, I’d give you more examples but why bother, its so much easier to sit and whine like your buddies Jeffies and Freddy and make believe only the Metsies have guys get hurt.