12 games and 52 plate appearances into his tenure as a New York Met, Jeff Francoeur has yet to draw a walk. This is hardly surprising, as the formerly well-regarded Atlanta Brave had walked in just 4.8 percent of his plate appearances leading up to his trade to New York. However, baseball fans and writers have famously short attention spans, and Francoeur's .327 batting average and two home runs since the trade have already led to a backlash against the Jeff Francoeur backlash.
The New York Times has already published the run-of-the-mill, "Coaching Advice Helps Mets’ Jeff Francoeur Get Comfortable," puff piece about how Mets hitting coach Howard "Not The Hotel, But I Will Take You To One To Rail Some Coke And Bang You There" Johnson has corrected some heretofore undiscovered glitch in Francoeur's swing that is responsible for the outfielder's supposed resurgence.
MLB.com, which can always be counted on for thoughtful baseball coverage, has joined the party as well, announcing that Francoeur has "gotten back into the swing of things," following his first home run since the trade on July 21st against the Nationals. The official website of Bud Selig's baseball P.R. machine also proclaims that Francoer began his career with "A stellar first two-and-a-half years for the Braves," a period in which Francoeur's adjusted OPS+ was exactly 100, leaving his offensive performance just below that of the average right fielder.
Bottom line: Jeff Francoeur sucks. He sucked with the Braves and now a hit-by-pitch is the only thing saving him from the dreaded higher-batting average-than-OBP as a Met. Adam Krohn wrote an interesting piece for the Dalton, GA The Daily Citizen last night (The Internet is amazing) in which he suggested that Francoeur may be well-served to quit baseball altogether and pursue a career in football. Honestly, I don't care what he does after he leaves baseball, but it has been clear for a while now that he can't cut it at the highest level of the game.
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