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Kansas City Royals: Can Jeff Francoeur Really Keep This Up?

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Kansas City Royals: Can Jeff Francoeur Really Keep This Up?
Leon Halip/Getty Images

As we approach the conclusion of a quarter of the MLB season, there is one player who has surprisingly led the Kansas City RoyalsJeff Francoeur.

His bat in the middle of the lineup and his arm coming from the "French Quarter" in Kansas City has created a buzz among the Royals' faithful. 

When Dayton Moore decided to sign Francoeur back in December, the reaction among fans was that the GM paid more than he should have for a one-year wonder, especially because that one year was five or six years ago.

After the first month and a half of the season, the right fielder has statistics that are similar to his rookie year when people were calling him the next great player.Fans are wondering is if he can keep this up for the other three quarters of the season.

The stats can spell it both ways.

His isolated power is 12 points better than he has had at any point in his career for a season, which is coming while playing at a fairly big park in Kauffman Stadium with a somewhat small sample size.

Francoeur has a much higher ground-ball to fly-ball ratio than he ever has before. This could mean a couple different things—either his swing is finding gaps better or he is just getting lucky. This is also while his batting average on balls in play is also higher because he is finding the gaps.

Another interesting thing to look at is how he is hitting different kinds of pitches. This season, Francoeur is hitting fastballs better than he ever has before, which could change once pitchers start figuring out that he likes to swing at the pitch.

An alarming fact is that he is swinging more at pitches outside of the zone and less at pitches inside the zone. While interesting, this strategy could quickly backfire when pitchers adjust to this trend.

Another bad trend is that he is striking out more than ever, which could come back to haunt him.

The stat that really jumps off the page at me is that Francoeur has a astronomically high weighted on-base average, which he sits near the top of the league in. The guy is finding a way to get on base, which is a really good thing.

As a fan of the Royals, I would love to see a good guy like Francoeur continue to lead this team this season. If he will or not is still up in the air, and only time will be able to tell what will happen.      

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