Friday, June 23, 2006

Is Jeff Francoeur in a slump?

I'm starting to wonder if Jeff Francoeur is just in a really bad slump or is this really how good he is? Its hard to tell since this is just his first full season after only half a year last year. I've heard of the sophomore slump and it seems Jeff i in the middle of it. There is doubt the kid has talent. Last year he came to the Braves from AA and just lit up the league finishing 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting, hitting HR's Hank Aaron style and was even pegged by Sports Illustrated as the "The Natural".

Remember last year when the announcers and everyone was joking about him not receiving a walk until about after 140 ABs, well that was all fine then because he was hitting .400 at one time and was driving in runs. One year later though and him not taking walks is starting to cost the team. To this point in his sophomore year he has been to the plate 300 times, 27 more than any other Brave. With those 300 at bats he has produced a .250 AVG, an on base percentage of .269 with 75 hits, 61 Ks and only 6 walks. That walk to strikeout ratio is an alarming 1-10.

Now I'm not blaming the Braves failures on Jeff alone, that blame could be extended to Adam LaRoche, Marcus Giles, Ryan Langerhans and everyone in the bullpen. But if this team is to catch fire and get back into the NL East race or at least the Wild Card then Francoeur has got to figure out how to take walks and eliminate his strikeouts. He's supposed to be the next Dale Murphy for this franchise, we need him to look like Dale now. I think its time to sit Jeff and put someone else in right who can get on base cause .269 OBP just isn't good enough to help this team win.

Additional Notes:

The Braves now have a 10 game losing streak. Last time a Braves team lost that many in a row was back at the start of the 1988 season, a season in which they lost a franchise record 106 games. Back then, John Smoltz was 3 months away from his major league debut and Tommy Glavine only had 11 starts under his belt. The Braves record now is 30-43 and 15.5 games behind the Mets and 9 games behind Wild Card leader Cincinnati Reds. To make it worse the Braves winning % of .411 is ahead of the likes of the Royals .310, Pirates .351 and Cubs .394.
Here's the upcoming series for the Braves; at Tampa Bay, at Yankees, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati then the Allstar break. Things ain't looking good.


At June 27, 2006, Anonymous Smoltzie said...

Jeff Francouer is not in a slump, pretty much all power hitters will have similar stats-strike out 60 times and only have 17 career walks.


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