No middle ground with this guy. Got off to a ferocious start, hitting .413/.413/.913 in 46 July AB to take over all the right field playing time. Finally got his first walk Aug. 21 against the Padres. From then on in, his walk rate was actually okay — not a plus, but not something you’d complain about either. Unfortunately, he went into a slump at about the same time, indicating that he was was drawing some walks less because he’d improved his selectivity and more because pitchers weren’t throwing him any strikes. From that point on, he hit only three more homers, and hit .247 in September.

The near future is cloudy. If he can lay off the curveballs in the lefthanded batters’ box, pitchers will eventually have to start giving him some pitches to hit. Long-term, he should be excellent, unless he gets frustrated and develops bad habits. I would compare him less to Dale Murphy and more to Juan Gonzalez, another player with fantastic talents and obvious holes in his game. Eventually, the holes overwhelmed Gonzalez, but don’t forget that he was a good player for a decade, a great one at his best.

Played well in the outfield and had thirteen assists. Eventually, they stopped testing his arm. 3-5 in stolen bases; last year in Mississippi he was 13-17, the first time he was a plus basestealer. He should improve there as well.

Jeff Francoeur Statistics –