Jeff Francoeur and Sabermetrics : Like Oil and Water?
When Jeff "Frenchy" Francoeur was traded to the Mets for Ryan Church, I was stunned. Stunned that a much-despised long-time rival would not only trade players with the Mets but would trade such a young, talented outfielder with incredible upside in exchange for a player that, while he has been solid, has not been producing as he did Pre-Concussion.
At the time, Omar Minaya was in hot water and was just beginning the Investigation-GATE that we all know and love. Up to that point, Mets fans were resigned to the fact that Omar wasn't going to make any big moves and stay with the status quo. Which is why this move to get "Frenchy" felt like it came out of Right Field faster than any throw he has made toward homeplate.
As Jeff got more comfortable with the Mets, so has his production. In fact, as of today, he has compiled 33 hits, 5 HR, 20 RBIs, and Scored 14 Runs in the 29 games he's played for the Mets with a Batting Average of just under .300(.297). Now this all looks good, right? He has been a godsend for this team, correct?
Not so fast, says the Sabermetric-Wrecking-Crew. They point out that while those stats are impressive, they aren't really indicative of his real impact. In fact, I've found out that it's his .OBP that is the factor that determines how good he is. Now for those who are casual fans like me, OBP stands for On-Base-Percentage. That is a statistic that shows how often Jeff gets on base and, truth be known, he hasn't been doing such a good job of it, especially when he was in Atlanta.
But the real question is why Sabermetrics? Why, as a fan, can't someone just watch a player and judge him on his hits, and RBIs? The reasoning I got was that RBIs aren't accurate representations of a player's performance. They are dependent on players in front of him getting on base to give him that opportunity.
Now there are other ways to judge a player and how good he really is but I bet the average fan won't know what BAbip or OPS is, nor would they really care so long as that player helps the team win ballgames. I am guilty of the same belief, for I am no believer in Sabermetrics. And quite frankly, when I watch "Frenchy" go up to hit, I don't sit there thinking about OBP, BAbip's, or XYZ's. I, like many Mets fans, think about one thing : Get a hit.
(one thing to note, Francoeur has started to take more pitches and work into deep counts lately.....)
So what does everyone here think? Do you believe in Sabermetrics or do you believe otherwise?
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