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Francly My Dear, I Give A Damn

My take on the Francoeur trade?

I'm ok with it. A colleague told me he thought Ryan Church maxxed out, and comped him with Todd Hollandsworth. And I'd have traded Todd Hollandsworth for Jeff Francoeur without any hestitation.

I love the walk-off deterrent capabilities of Francoeur's throwing arm (unnoticed this season is how much opposing teams have run on the Mets) and that alone is probably worth more runs per year than we know.

I like that we took someone who usually hurts us and brought him on our side (can we do the same for Brandon Phillips?)

I like that he's a good, positive guy, though he's probably gonna be a bit shellshocked when he checks out the deader-than-dead atmosphere on Saturday night. I like that he's only 25, and he's a couple years away from free agency.

I like that he's got two career walk-off home runs, including one off "The Hat" (Chad Cordero, for those unfamiliar).

What makes me a little skittish? Well, that's mostly the numbers. A lot of people harp on Francoeur's low (awful) on-base percentage, but I wanna go one column to the right, and check out his slugging percentage.

Jeff Francoeur played 155 games last year and slugged .359. Tim Bogar slugged .359 for the Mets once. The difference is that Tim Bogar was never expected to be anything but a No. 8 hitter. Francoeur, in the current state of things, should be hitting No. 4 or No. 5.

Francoeur's slugging percentage dropped 100 points from his first season to his second, to .449. Guys who hit 29 home runs and drive in 103 runs aren't supposed to slug .449.

Since the start of the 20th century, 759 players have hit at least 29 home runs and driven in at least 103 runs in a season. Out of those 759...

The 200th-highest slugging percentage was Reggie Jackson's .608 (1969).

The 400th-highest slugging percentage was Mike Piazza's .561 (1993)

The 600th-highest slugging percentage was Mike Schmidt's .524 (1983)

The 759th-and-worst slugging percentage was Jeff Francoeur's .449 (2006).

So something's clearly amiss with this guy. Actually, a lot's amiss, if you look at his strikeout numbers. But at this point, I'll reserve judgment, because I'm not convinced that the current roster could get to .449 if you added all their slugging percentages together.

True Metcoeurs know...Three Mets have slugged .449 in a season...Lee Mazzilli (1979), Keith Hernandez (1984) and Joe McEwing (2001)


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