This was a comment on today’s recap, but it was interesting enough that I’ve made it into its own post…
What’s odd about Jeff Francoeur is that serious power, 30-40 HR power, generally comes with a lot of walks. It’s part of the package. Even Kingman’s walk rates aren’t that bad, slightly below league average. The only active player with walk rates so poor who hits home runs more than Jeff is Soriano. Well, Tony Batista, when he’s in the league. Jeff could — heck, probably will — have more home runs than walks, over 25 homers. Players with seasons of 25 or more homers and 25 or fewer walks (Sabermetric Encyclopedia):
ALL LEAGUES & TEAMS
HOMERUNS >= 25
WALKS <= 25 1 Ivan Rodriguez 3 T2 Joe Pepitone 2 T2 Dante Bichette 2 T4 Jose Guillen 1 T4 Garret Anderson 1 T4 Jesse Barfield 1 T4 George Bell 1 T4 Albert Belle 1 T4 Jorge Cantu 1 T4 Walker Cooper 1 T4 Andre Dawson 1 T4 Joe DiMaggio 1 T4 Buck Freeman 1 T4 Felipe Alou 1 T4 Juan Gonzalez 1 T4 Fred Whitfield 1 T4 Glenallen Hill 1 T4 Bob Horner 1 T4 Bo Jackson 1 T4 Wily Mo Pena 1 T4 Fred Pfeffer 1 T4 Bill Robinson 1 T4 Alfonso Soriano 1 T4 Sammy Sosa 1 T4 Andres Galarraga 1
Pretty rarified air. But that’s not the half of it. Jeff actually has twice as many homers as walks (20/10) and is on pace for 30/15. Here’s the list of people who have done that:
ALL LEAGUES & TEAMS
HOMERUNS >= 30
WALKS <= 15
That’s not missing anything. Nobody’s done it. But his homers are off… Maybe he’ll end up with 25 and 15:
ALL LEAGUES & TEAMS
HOMERUNS >= 25
WALKS <= 15
Same deal. How about his current 20 — what if he doesn’t hit another homer and draws five walks?
ALL LEAGUES & TEAMS
HOMERUNS >= 20
WALKS <= 15 T1 Daryle Ward 1 T1 Juan Gonzalez 1 T1 Abner Dalrymple 1
Abner Dalrymple? 1884 Cubs. Fluke season, 22/14.Â (UPDATE:Â It also took six balls to draw a walk in 1884.)
Anyway, we’re talking some pretty weird numbers here.
Yikes. And to think they’re encouraging this by telling him to swing away.
We’re still 4.5 back.
Wow! That is scary. I’m afraid that your comp to Tony Armas Sr. may be true. It’s tough to learn plate discipline in the majors, but it seems like Jose Reyes from the hated Mets is learning to be more patient, so maybe there’s hope for Francoeur. Chipper really needs to talk to him more. Heavens knows TP was never a patient hitter and that certainly seems to be his philosophy as a hitting coach too.
I believe Frenchy’s problem is not really about discipline. He is just poor in pitch recognition (or is it the same thing?). However, he is athletic enough to hit even bad pitches off the plate, which in a way making his problem worse.
As impatient as he is, I’m continually amazed whenever an opposing pitcher throws him a strike. His lack of recognition, or discipline is atrocious once he gets two strikes on him. I have absolutely no confidence in his ability to hit with two strikes. I’m much more impressed by McCann as a hitter than I am by Francoeur.
Jeff’s lack of plate discipline might not just be a swing away mentality. According to this swing analysis, his long swing could be causing him to start early and not be able to read pitches well.
Analysis of Francoeur’s swing
If that link doesn’t work, the url is http://blog.swingtraining.net/2006/07/18/jeff-francoeur-and-the-x-factor.aspx
Great stiff Mac thanks. Watching Garret Anderson lead off the eleventh right now. Swung at all three pitches and tapped back to the mound. Typical.
OT, anyone seen this guy Littleton pitch for the Rangers? He kind of jumps at the hitter and slings the ball in there sidearm. Doesn’t even really drop down. Must look really funky to the batter. Hudler just compared Howie Kendrick to Ron Gant which I don’t really see. And DeRosa makes a dynamite barehand play at third to rob Kendrick. More free baseball.
I’m rambling now.
Great stuff Mac. Yikes.
Fascinating link Hawk. Thanks. The Giles posts on that blog are even more interesting. Can we hire that guy already?
Hawk, the swing analysis of Frenchy is awesome. I always wanted to say Frenchy’s swing looks long, but it doesn’t look long because of the fast bat speed. I guess the flaw is really about him having to start his swing very early, which leads to poor pitch recognition. Once again, thanks for the link Hawk. Great stuff.
Am i the only one who feels reassured about Frenchys future reading that?
There are a lot of good names on that list and the fact that hes goingdown uncharted territory is fascinating and more of a reflection on his extreme talent than on his lack of refinement (though pletny of both amplified by being garunteed 500 ABs)
Does anyone on this board have access to TP and pass him the analysis on Frenchy and Marcus?
Interesting. Another odd thing I’ve noticed about Frenchy is he only has 15 doubles. I wonder if he’d be in similarly weird company or alone if finished with 30 homeruns and 20 doubles.
He’s a hitter who swings first and thinks never. So you see a lot of what happened yesterday. It really is amazing that more pitchers don’t just bounce sliders in the dirt at him over and over. He’s not like Vlad Guerrero who is able to reach just about any pitch. He needs to learn to recognize pitches and take pitches in situations where the pitcher is struggling with control. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for the Braves to tell him to just take pitches until he has one strike on him.
The good news is that this is only his first full year in the bigs and he’s very young. There’s plenty of time for him to learn to become a better hitter. The Braves offense when healthy is good enough to score plenty of runs despite his failings, so there is room for patience. It’s often very frustrating for us fans to watch, but it’s not even close to what is killing this team (starting pitching).
ububba, Remember that everyone said that Joe Torre messed Komminsk up? I tried baseballreference and cube but I couldn’t find his minor league stats. Did he ever have a year as good as his AAA year at Richmond when everyone called him the next Murphy? But with that slow swing of his he was doomed.
The analysis of Francoeur’s swing is interesting and it does say alot about why he is the way he is.
Mac great stuff. If he can ever get to 20 or so walks and if he hits .300 then he is a good player. If he can’t then he won’t.
31/19 in 1994 with the Rockies — in 417 AB. If not for the strike, he would have had 25 or more walks.
Greg Maddux pitched a no hitter into the 6th in his Dodger debut against the Reds. He left the game after a 45 minute rain delay. Grady Little said a decision like that is “all about the clock and the man. After 45 minutes, we didn’t want to take a chance,” Little said. “[Maddux] said he had a no-hitter in Little League that would last him the rest of his life. We have priorities now.”
Man, Greg Maddux is a classy guy. How great is it to hear a guy like Maddux who has never pitched a ML no hitter to say something like that? You know he loves the game for the game.
There are some good players on the list, but it’s a little misleading. Joe DiMaggio, for example, may not have walked much but he almost never struck out either and, of course, he hit well over .300 most of his career. He also had Lou Gehrig batting behind him during the early part of his career (I don’t know what year he made the list). Francoeur sure had some bad at bats yesterday, though. But I disagree that the Braves should tell him to always take the first pitch. Sometimes the first pitch is right down the middle–you just can’t make a blanket rule like that. He has hit a lot of first pitches for home runs. I remember reading Ted Williams’ biography and he said that most great hitters usually took the first pitch, but every so often there was a first pitch that was so good you had to swing. And Jeff said the pitch in the 8th was right down the middle and he just missed it.
DiMaggio walked a fair amount for most of his career. As a rookie, he walked 24 times (versus 29 homers). Of course, he also hit .323, so his OBP was .352. He was never among the league leaders in walks (there were some ridiculous walk totals during the fifties) but walked 50-75 times a season, and finished among the top ten in OBP six times.
The problem right now is that Jeff is unable or unwilling to distinguish between a bad first pitch and that pitch that is so good that he had to swing. So he basically flails away at everything. Taking the first pitch every time for a while would at least get him in the habit of taking pitches and working counts. And at the minimum it would ensure his at bat lasted at least 2 pitches instead of immediately ending on a weak pop up.
In the Science of Hitting, Ted Williams says that he took pitches until strike one was called, unless the ball was coming right down the wheelhouse. It would be nice if Jeff could adopt this approach to the plate, but if his mechanics really do prevent him from getting a good read, then the definition of wheelhouse for him might include the area around the strikezone and the other batters box.
If that’s the case, then it’s time to change his mechanics otherwise he will always be the flawed hitter he currently is.
I have decided that Jeff is bizzaro Julio. Julio always took the first pitch, Jeff swings at the first pitch almost 60% of the time.
Lets face it, Francoeur has to hit around .320 for him to provide a net gain for the Braves. No where in his history has he ever hit that well. His current technique and mechanics make the possibiltiy of him being a high average hitter virtually nil.
Fall practice starts today!
Every hitter is flawed
I remember the Torre talk and I tend to remember that Komminsk tore up AAA. My take on Komminsk at the time was that he just couldn’t hit major-league pitching. His swing was too mechanical and when he began to get overwhelmed in his rookie year he seemed to lose any confidence—and he never regained it.
To me, one pertinent difference between Komminsk & Francouer is that with Frenchy you don’t worry about him catching up to fastballs or hitting a hanging curve. I remember Komminsk tying himself into knots trying to hit rinky-dink hooks or getting blown away with your basic high heat. No chance, over and over again. He’d end up with that same down-and-up swing with a look on his face that said, “Hey, this is supposed to work.”
Komminsk became hopeless quickly; Francoeur will improve because, when it comes to patience, pitch-recognition, etc., he can’t possibly be any worse.
Francoeur was getting better fo a while, though he regressed yesterday. I am sure that Bobby will take him a side and talk to him.
I wonder if he could just use a day off. He’s played just about every game this season. Maybe he just needs a day to chill and take a step back.
Weird Braves news.
Do not discuss this story here. Discuss it at the link provided, if you must. I’ll delete any comment on the matter because I can tell it will get ugly.
If whatever it is tha Mac posted keeps Liberty Media out, I am for it.
Whatever happened to Arthur Blank? Has that fallen through?
Andruw has been placed on waivers, this might have already been mentioned
nevermind it was mentioned last night
I don’t see why we need to place him on waivers at this point. If we turned down Hansen, Lester, and Crisp, then what are we going to get after the trade deadline? Our best option is to deal him in the offseason, along with Giles.
And the more and more I think about it, if that trade was truly proposed (Hansen, Lester, and Crisp for Andruw), I would have done it in a heartbeat. Crisp would be the lead-off hitter we need when Chipper comes back and Aybar goes to the bench, and Hansen and Lester are studs. Why didn’t we make that deal?
Check out this quote from Bobby in the AJC today:
Asked if he was concerned about Francoeur seeing only five pitches in four at-bats, Braves manager Bobby Cox said an emphatic, “No.’
“It doesn’t bother me one bit,” Cox said. “Not where he is hitting in the lineup. Not a bit. If he isn’t aggressive, it takes away from him a little bit.”
Ugh. This is a fundamental flaw in organization philosophy. We don’t take pitches, it hampers our style! Taking pitches gets you better pitches to hit when the pitcher is forced to throw strikes and it also raises pitch counts and runs them out of the game earlier. How many times have we sat there in the postseason and watched the offense lay down and die? When is someone going to realize that this doesn’t work?
“Lets face it, Francoeur has to hit around .320 for him to provide a net gain for the Braves. No where in his history has he ever hit that well.”
First Francoeurs walks WILL improve…now they may not be good, but they should improve to at least. Second saying he needs to hit 320(!) to be a positive is an absurd overreaction….if he his 320, even with basically no improvement in his walks, his line would be 320/350/520 pretty good esp. for a guy with the defensive tools he does. Also, that line assumes that all of the hits he gets to move from 260 to 320 are singles…which of cousrse they wont be….with even a few more XBHs he’d be something like 320/350/550 or better
If he can hit 280-290, improve his walks just a wee bit and maybe tack on a few 2bs youre looking at 290/330/500…an above average RF, again, even more so when you consider his defensive tools
also MANY MANY big league hitters post better numbers in the pros than they ever did in the minors
Oh, and Rob (you posted while I was writing), we didn’t make that deal because Jon Lester actually wasn’t a part of the deal. JS demanded him and Theo said “Thanks anyway” and hung up.
On Francouer, I remember reading an interview with David Ortiz recently, where he tried to explain how he’s been a much better hitter for the Red Sox than he ever was for the Twins (yeah, the Green Monster had nothing to do with it). Anyway, he says that the Twins were always telling him to take pitches, be patient, go the opposite way, work the count. When he got to Boston, the coaches there were like, “See a pitch you like, swing at it, and swing at it HARD.” He says that’s made the all the difference. He’s no longer tentative, and he no longer outhinks himself at the plate.
Now, I don’t tihnk Frenchy’s going to turn into Big Papi overnight. But who knows?
Really? That’s what Theo said? And he just hung up on JS? I say we stick to the facts we know when relaying stories.
We know that deal was turned down by the Sox, not the Braves. (Those ChopNation guys were just wrong. They misunderstood what they read in the AJC.) I don’t think we know the manner in which it was turned down.
What Bobby said doesn’t necessarily reflect an organizational philosophy. He’s just doing his regular “protect-my-players” routine. When have you ever heard Bobby rip a player or even chide a player too much in the press?
NMS, .320 is assuming that his walks DON’T improve. This would give him an OBP of around .325 or .330. an acceptable on base average given his power.
The .280/.290 assertion that you make assumes that he close to quadruples his walk rate. Yeah right. Jeff has only 10 walks in 462 PAs
I challenge you to find a player other than Sammy Sosa that dramtically improved his walk rate.
Look I’m a Braves fan. I’m pulling for the kid. I want him to be a star. I just think its ridiculous to assume that he is going that direction now.
Big Papi doesn’t have the long swing that Francouer has, and Ortiz walked over 100 times last year. I can’t see anyone comparing Francouer to Ortiz.
Actually, Johnny, virtually every player walks more as he gets older. The problem is that Francoeur’s floor is so low that (a) if he has a bad year and hits .250 (like he is this year) he’s killing the team no matter how many homers he hits, and (b) even if his walks go up drastically, say they double, they’d still be at an unacceptable level.
I have to agree with Johnny. And considering those quotes that were just given from Bobby Cox, it doesn’t seem like he’s even being directed in the right direction.
Hows about we just trade him and let someone else try to fix him? Send him to Oakland or Boston for some pitching. Jon Lester for Jeff Francouer. I’ll go get Theo on the phone. You have his number, right Jenny?
I’m reading on the waiver wire that Javy has gone to the Sox. I haven’t found out for who yet.
Bobby usually doesn’t rip his player in the press. If he was mad at Jeff he wouldn’t tell Dave O’Brien, thats for sure. He did rip Andruw that one time to get his point across, but that was the only time ever.
#26, really? What is Brian McCann’s flaw? Ok, I get it: no hitter bats 1.000 with a 1.000 obp and a 4.000 slugging %. But Franceour has flaws in a way that goes beyond Andruw’s occasional 3 strikeout games or Laroche’s hitting into doubleplays because he makes Sid Bream look fast.
I don’t think that the Red Sox would do that, but then I don’t think you’re serious.
JC is moving so he’s not available, so I’ll point out for him that Jeff has been PrOPS-unlucky and “should” be hitting .280/.302/.482 instead of his current .257/.281/.445. That’s what I mean about bad years, though… walks help out when you’re hitting at-em balls. A .280 hitter is going to hit .260 some years, but if he walks a fair amount that makes his OBP .340 instead of .360. It’s a whole other deal when it means .280 instead of .300.
Baseball Prospectus ran this table as part of a story today. It’s a very simple chart: it shows the record of teams drawing a certain number of walks, covering the entire major leagues since 2004.
BB W L PCT.
0 257 602 .299
1 670 1223 .354
2 1116 1429 .439
3 1180 1172 .502
4 1105 881 .556
5 851 562 .602
6 543 279 .661
7 336 162 .675
8 188 67 .737
9 98 24 .803
10 45 9 .833
Take more pitches, draw more walks, get more baserunners, get more fat pitches on cripple counts, get more runs, get more wins. Why is that such a revelation to so many people?
He is what 22? I think he will get better. I am not worried about our hitters, focus on the pitching.
Ron, McCann’s flaw is that he’s slow. And that was with a healthy ankle; now he can’t outrun continental drift. Still, if that’s his only flaw (and I can’t think of any others), he’s still a tremendous asset to the Braves.
A 280/ 302/ 482 hitter this year would have an EqA of about .260. (Comparison: Juan Encarnacion’s 282/ 313/ 464 in St. Louis is a .261 EqA, and Pedro Feliz’s 258/ 297/ 451 in SF is a .246 EqA). That’s still below average for a right fielder, which currenty averages .268.
So that’s Francoeur in a nutshell, unless he changes- a below-average RF, with a negative learning curve, who might luck into a freak hot streak but otherwise has little to no value.
We still need starting pitching.
That doesn’t mean you ignore the sucking vortex of outs in right field.
Anyway, I emailed a summary of this to the TBS Mailbag. I doubt they’d read it on the air, but I’d like to get on there sometime and there’s not much time left. I wish I had Pete’s email address.
Mac, I actually was being serious. According to the articles I’ve read, it’s Javy and $1.4M to the Red Sox for a PTBNL. Javy will make $2.75M for the rest of the year so Baltimore is picking up more than half. I think this is a good deal for Boston. Plus, his contract is up at the end of the year.
I was talking about Francoeur-for-Lester.
This is why I hate making preseason predictions…
I came across a magazine today in a book shop, I forgot if it was Sporting News or another one…
It had a 2006 MLB Preview and the Braves were ranked # 2 behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L.
Tim Hudson was ranked at a 9.0 out of 10 (Smoltz was ranked at 9.1 out of 10)
Jorge Sosa was predicted to be a 15 game winner… and Reitsma according to them, was supposed to be great in a set-up role.
And Jeffrey was picked as the break-through player in the leaugue…
Coming into the season I had high hopes for us aswell, but things like this show you how stupid preseason predictions can make you look.
Oh, my bad. But yeah, you’re right, I don’t see the Sox doing it either. Still would be nice though.
I don’t expect Andruw to be traded now. He might clear waivers – $13M salary, free agent in a year, and I think he has the right to demand a trade at the end of the year if he’s traded. But I can’t imagine that the young prospects we would want for him would clear – Lester for example. Every team would claim him, unless there is some unwritten rule that you don’t make a claim if it breaks up someone else’s trade.
Wow, were they wrong or what?
Olney was on the radio talking about trading Andruw. This is like the Smoltz thing I think. I can’t wait for it to die.
guys, thanks for linking up the first analysis I did of Francoeur.
I saw this article early this morning and spent some time taking another look at Francoeur’s swing.
In regard to what Cox said about his approach, it wouldn’t bother me either if Francoeur didn’t do clearly has an incredible amount of ability. Why it does bother me is because I don’t seem him doing this same thing and really realizing his potential. We’ll see though…I wish him the best (I live in a suburb right next to where McCann and Francoeur grew up and the hometown thing is pretty cool)
Just for grins I did some math. Doubling Jeff’s walks puts his OBP at .303, tripling them puts him at .324, qaudrupling them puts him at .346, Andruw Territory. What’s league average for a RF? Where can you get that info? Geez of his 10 walks 4 of them have been intentional. Only 6 walks on his own power. Help this kid Bobby. Please help him. NMS thats why I said at his current skill level he has to hit around .320 for him to provide a net gain to the team. I agree that he’ll improve, thanks Mac for the insight, but is he going to quadruple his walk production?
Ok someone claimed Andruw on waivers yesterday. Any idea of who it is?
I’d bet on the Cardinals or possibly (if he got past the NL) the White Sox.
Dosen’t really matter who it was, does it? If I understand waivers, and there’s a pretty high probability that I don’t, then these are revocable waivers. If he’d passed through, then the Braves could trade him; if not, then they can pull him back because there revocable. So if he really was claimed, there no way he can be traded. At least that’s my understanding.
To defend Bobby, one of the points he made seems to make some sense, ie, that when you are hitting lower in the order, walks may not be as important because the guys hitting behind you are less likely to drive you in. The problem is, of course, that Francouer is not supposed to be a bottom of the order hitter and there’s no reason to think that he would get any more walks hitting higher.
I think Andruw will be traded but not now. Given that he hired Boras–which means no chance for a hometown discount–it’s highly unlikely the Braves can resign him and I think they will try to trade him when his value is highest. Moreover, given how banged up Andruw is, I wonder if the Braves think he might end up being an “old” 30.
I think he can only be traded to the team that claims him.
Well if he is claimed he can onlt be traded to that team The Braves and Team X only have 48 hours to do the deal, or the Braves have to pull him back. We will know by 1:00 on Saturday.
Maybe a block claim?
I am sure it is not the Red Sox or the Yankees, because it would have leaked out by now. I agree with Mac, it is probably the White Sox or Cards. Maybe the Angels. Or it could be a block.
Someone at the AJC board said that some scout think the Angels are the ones that made the claim. The fact we didn’t pull him back means we are listening.
EVERYBODY GETS PLAACED ON WAIVERS!
Its called being dilligent listening to offers.
99.9% of the time NO ONE IS TRADED.
Maddux and Chipper have been put on waivers, so has A-Rod and evens Clemens.
Its just a look see at the trade market thats all.
Youre right 4Seam. ESPN is running with the story. Slow news day.
4Seam is right, and because of that, you can usually make some pretty high-profile trades after the trading deadline because so many players have passed through waivers. Shoot, Javy Lopez just went to the Red Sox.
Buster Olney says several teams claimed him. Whoever is lowest in the standings gets the claim, I think. If it is the Angels, what should JS ask for? Ervin Santana?
Santana and Wood would suit me just fine. 🙂
The way things are happening too the Braves it would be best if Francoeur doesn’t walk. Who knows what could happen. Maybe he could pull a hamstring or break his leg.
Changing the subject: I think trading Andruw would be great for the Braves. He has a high salary and his price is higher than ever.
If we move Andruw it will shows we have given up on the season.
The lowest team in the standing gets the claim. I’m guessing the Cubs.
The players we get back have to either clear waivers, be claimed by us (with us having highest priority among those claiming), or not be on the 40-man. No one young and useful has a prayer of clearing waivers from the AL, where all AL teams have priority. I suppose there’s slightly more of a chance of an NL guy making it, but seems like Washington could take on good young players without too much salary concern.
I don’t think trading Andruw through waivers is viable; we’d be getting either prospects who are at least 2 years off or castoffs with likely bad contracts.
The only Cubs player I want–the ONLY one–is Carlos Zambrano.
This article from mlb.com suggests that the rule is lowest winning percentage, regardless of league:
“Multiple teams can claim a player who has been placed on waivers. If two teams were to claim a specific player, the lower-ranking team according to winning percentage (whether it be an American or National League team), is given rights to that player for 48 hours.”
Bowman should fix that. ESPN and Wikipedia have it the other way, and it’s what I’ve always heard.
“NMS, .320 is assuming that his walks DON’T improve. This would give him an OBP of around .325 or .330. an acceptable on base average given his power.”
Well his gap between AVG and OBP is 24 points right now…not 5-10.
So even given NO improvement in walks, a 300 average, not a 320 one, would give him a 325 OBP….
Also as Mac said walks basically always go up with age. Now they might still suck but for a 22 year old hitter, even with crap plate discipline, to go from a 24 point IsoD to to a 30 or even 40 point one is pretty damn routine.
Also Francouers walk rates to get better as the season goes on…both years hes gone with out a BB for 100 at-bats or something then drawn em at a constant rate after that. Now that constant rate might be pretty crappy but its a helluva lot better than 1 per 100 PA. That seems like something that could improve over time. This year for instance he drew none in 97 April PAs then 10 in his next 340….really bad, but quite a bit better. Last year he drew 5 walks in 93 September ABs, i think he could easily get to that (poor) level with some experience.
And as i said, even if he doesnt change it AT ALL he doesnt need to hit 320 to be “even decent” or however you put it….hed in fact be pretty damn spectacular at 320 as his OBP would be a solid 340-350 and hed have oodles of XBHs and RBIs.
At 280-290 hed have an obp of 315 or so with plenty o power
jenny is absolutely correct when she says that this is an organizational flaw. I don’t think that the organization is anywhere near as focused on “developing” young hitters the way that they do young pitchers. They have a system on how to develop young arms in the minor leagues, but nowhere have I ever read about them teaching plate discipline for hitters. I read Scout’s Honor (which for those people on here have that not read it, it is a MUST read for any Braves fan), and I can’t recall anything at all while talking about hitting philosophies at all. It covered alot about Johnny Sain, Bruce Del Canton, Mazzone, etc and developing pitchers, but I just don’t see anywhere near the same type of emphasis placed upon plate discipline. Every now and then we get a Chipper or Kelly Johnson who can actually take a walk, but those are few and far between. Maybe that’s why Willy Aybar has been such a breath of fresh air in his ability to take pitches.
I was reading on MLBTradeRumors.com yesterday about the Cubs’ organization and their lack of understanding OBP and how it is hurting the big club. I think the same is happening to the Braves with regards to taking walks and plate discipline and nowhere is this more apparent than our right fielder, who I have said is clearly not the problem with this team, but it’s starting to get quite alarming with his lack of the ability to take a walk.
I think that the difference is that the Cubs actively discourage their young players from being too patient, while the Braves just don’t care. Since a patient hitter will usually hit more homers, there’s a tendency for higher-walk players to rise up, but it’s not reinforced on its own.
Also, the organization may not be as bad at it as the major league team. Certain Braves — Andruw and Marcus come to mind — have never walked as much in the majors as they did in the minors. (Well, Marcus has this year, but at the expense of 50 points of BA it’s not really worth it.)
Marcus drew 72 walks in Greenville in 2000 and 85 in Macon in 1998; he hasn’t come close to that in the majors (career high 64 last year). Andruw drew 82 walks in 2002, but his major league walk rates are still below his minor league ones.
Francouer’s issues are his issues & he can be dramatically better than he has been. But the reason this team is where it is has much more to do with its lousy pitching than its offensive performance.
BABE RUTH GOT PUT ON WAIVERS!
Every player no matter who they are gets put on waiers, the players know this and don’t really care.
HARDLY ever is a high-profile player traded, maybe a mid range player like Canseco-thats also kind of rare.
A Randa, a Heredia etc. or even low level replacments, an Ordonez get traded during the waiver season.
The Big guys are put on there just to see what the off-season worth might be and a for now a general look at what these players worth is considered.
Salaries have a lot of implication on if someone claims, people like Mussina or Johnson for the Yankees won’t be CLAIMED EVER, becaus eteams know it would impossible to pay them, and a horrible investment to shell otu that kind of cash, rarely a big time player may be claimed by a team like the Angels and then non-serious trade talks procede and of course the team chooses to retain.
The Angels have Chone Figgins, and their offense to starting to crank up, they didn’t get rid of their young pitching for Tejada, why would they GIVE UP MORE for AJ’s offense?
Figgins, Santana, and some other people for Andruw???
The Al West has bad hitting, best bet would be keep the pitching.
Andruw ain’t going anywhere because the Braves NEED to have a Franchise guy, AJ is too good to give away, too much of a force at the plate, but more importantly too much of a HOF FORCE IN THE FIELD.
If JS trades him, I’ll quit as a fan.
I’ll trde Hudson and Giles, never AJ, never!!!
Plus you can’t coutn on CJ being healthy, so who hits in the 4 spot?
I like Laroche at the 5 or 6 NO BETTER! He has ability to be a 30 homer guy.
AJ has the ability to be a 50 homer guy, and has a lot more respect shown toward him than Laroche.
AJ for this reason ranks a 94 on my offensive ability list, Laroche is 83-84, Francoeur 75
The 4 spot guy has to be a 90+
(This is not some mathmatical formula I came up with, its a video game like attribute estimation on my part)
Francoeur had a bad game and will have some in the future. However, he is a young talent and I think that he has shown improvement over the course of the season. I expect that he will become better and slowly become acustomed to taking pitches and hitting deeper in the count.
That said, Javy Lopez has gone to the Red Sox. Our former stars are on well on the way to becoming ‘grizzled veterans’.
I would also trade Hudson and Giles and I hope that we keep Andruw…
Javy Lopez still ahs some pop, and he isn’t that worse for wear.
His knees have a little left under him.
Javy gave us some good years didn’t he.
On a different topic.
Aybar, Wickman, and Baez have been awesome.
UBubba is absolutely right.
And actually Francouers performance has actually contributed to winning more than your average RF this year. His hits and homers have come in high leverage situations at a high rate. Now you can argue it is luck and/or unsustainable, and maybe it is, but bc of WHEN he has been productive Francouer hasn’t really negatively affected our W-L at all so far this year.
Our Ls can be placed on that BP team we have for a pitching staff outside of Smoltzie
Fantastic post, Mac. I kind of knew it was unusual, I just had no idea how rare.
NMS he has not been as consistent as his potential and he has also struckout and gotten out in crucial situations.
He has cost us at least 4-5 games.
He has also won at least 4-5 games.
He isn’t playing up to his potential in this push.
If he would just cut back on his stupidity we would have at least 2 more games as wins.
That would be HUGE.
If he was hitting just well in these situations 7th-9th inning pressure situations, .270 some homers some RBIS etc. but he cut back on his errors at the plate we might win 2, 3, or 4 of these games we have lost.
That is critical because we have had no room for error this season, the Braves are fighting for their playoff lives, they need to realize that and do what it takes to win.
LaRoche is on a pace for a 33-HR season. Andruw averaged 32 from 1998 to 2004. LaRoche’s BA and OBP of .272 and .339 compare well to Andruw’s career averages (.267 and .343).
So LaRoche 2006 pretty much is the same hitter as Andruw 1998-2004. It remains to be seen if 2006 is a peak year for LaRoche in terms of power, but he’s certainly earned the chance to test the hypothesis.
NMS I stand corrected. Just by adding 10 hits to his total of 114 gives him a .280 Ba and an obp of .303. Which still sucks. But you are right at .302 ba he has a .324 obp which by the way still sucks but sucks less than a .281.
.302 with a .324 obp with 30 hr power is a positive contributing outfielder. I hope that he can get there.
In the here and now I agree with everyone that inconsistent pitching is why we will not make the playoffs this year but it is beyond my comprehension why this organization cannot find at least one productive corner outfielder.
Wow if Adam becomes “Andruw II” there are going to be a lot of people on this board eating crow.
There’s no danger of Adam becoming Andruw II.
And Adam LaRoche will certainly not be testifying in any strip-club trials.
If Laroche is Andruw 1998-2004 then he his a mid 80’s offensive player.
Remember Andruw pushed himself into the 90+ atrribute range by changing his stance and making better use of his atleticism.
Laroche has power, but definitely not as much as Andruw.
Just noticed this from The Hardball Times. Cormier’s line from last night at AAA:
ATL AAA Lance Cormier 9.0IP 7H 0R 0ER 4SO 0BB 0HR
Wonder if they’ll bring him back up (not saying I want that, just wondering).
NMS I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of Jeff’s value this year. According to BP (I know not the all knowing oracle) Francoeur has a VORP of -6.1 that is a value lower than a replacement level right fielder. He aint helping the team the way he produces outs.
“IF” Adam starts putting up Andurw numbers I will grill Stu’s and Alex’s crow med well. I will use a dash of lemon and nut meg. It should be quite good.
ha ha ha!
Look at his WPA numbers sometime
GOLG CLUB REFERNCE!!
SHAKE THAT BOOTY SHAKE THAT BOOTY!!!!!
BANG BANG CHU CHU TRAIN COMEON NOW AND DO DAT TING
WHATS UP? SHUT UP!
I can jsut imagine Tom Glavine saying those things. hehe
Hello my name is Johnny and I was once a Rochy basher. I’ve enjoyed his good streak but before we annoint him the next Andrew remember that he too is prone to madding streaks of ineffectiveness. Is that a word? Anyway I’m pulling for the kid to finish the way the middle of his season has gone but I’m not getting giddy.
I wish this dang had spell check….
“Hello my name is Johnny and I was once a Rochy basher. I’ve enjoyed his good streak but before we annoint him the next Andrew remember that he too is prone to madding streaks of ineffectiveness. Is that a word? Anyway I’m pulling for the kid to finish the way the middle of his season has gone but I’m not getting giddy.”
“madding streaks of inneffectiveness”
So was Andruw….
Shake what you momma gave ya!
What is a WPA number? by the way WARP1 =0 warp2 -2.2 Again this is BP but what the heck.
Lets beat the Reds tonight if only to prolong my tortuous belief that we have a micron of a chance but mostly so that I don’t have to listen to my Reds fans friends.
I will fully understand if the Braves trade Andruw. I mean, several people on here have said that we won’t be able to re-sign him. So why not get something good for him now?
The word you are searching for is maddening
When a team places a player on waivers, and he is claimed and then pulled back by his original team, he cannot then be traded for 30 days, or the two teams can agree on a trade, or the team placing him on waivers can just choose to let him go to the team that claimed him, without receiving compensation, ala the Randy Meyers situation.
It’s funny, people are complaining about the organizational approach to hitting (which I do too),but they seem to be producing more hitters than pitchers.
Two points, then go Braves!. I’ll be at the Sunday game!
1. Any pitcher who throws Frenchy a first pitch strike at this point should be fined $1000. They should pay for such foolishness.
2. Any speculation about Andruw’s agent affecting his intentions to re-sign should refer to what happened the last time he signed. It’s one of the more “warm and fuzzy” parts of JS’s book.
Smitty, I’ve never been a LaRoche basher. I’ll therefore never be made to eat crow.
I am in the court of waiting to see if this is all a dream. Wondering if Adam is for real or if he is just “shaking what his mother gave him.”
I also don’t understand the idea to trade Frenchy. I hope that was simply tongue in cheek. He drives me mad sometimes, but I just tell myself that he is 22 and should be in AAA. I’ll give him some time. As for the organization, I don’t believe anything Bobby says in the papers. For all we know he is ripping Jeff a new one behind the scenes. Bobby will never say bad things about his players (Except for the one Andruw instance). Jeff knows he must improve his OBP to be successful. It is way too obvious to ignore. We need to give him time. In the meantime, I will enjoy the other 22 yr old who is already the best catcher in the NL.
I know I’ve read that Rocket Wheeler (Rome? The Beach?) does his very best to beat patience out of hitters – at least in the opinion of many. He’s obviously not always successful, but there’s a prime example of an impatient organizational philosophy. Whether he’s the only one, I don’t know.
Instead of not walking, ground into a double play.