Platooning Frenchy Reviewed by Momizat on . By Derek Johannsen We lost the battle. No one is going to convince Dayton Moore or Ned Yost that Jeff Francoeur is not an everyday outfielder. He is going to p By Derek Johannsen We lost the battle. No one is going to convince Dayton Moore or Ned Yost that Jeff Francoeur is not an everyday outfielder. He is going to p Rating: 0
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Platooning Frenchy

Platooning Frenchy

By Derek Johannsen

We lost the battle. No one is going to convince Dayton Moore or Ned Yost that Jeff Francoeur is not an everyday outfielder. He is going to play, there is no stopping that. It reminds me of the scene from A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise and Kevin Bacon are arguing in the bar and Cruise yells at Bacon that he is a lousy freaking (thanks TNT) softball player. Bacon’s retort is simply that Cruise’s boys are going down, there is no stopping that now. That sums up how I feel. He’s going to play, there’s no stopping it… but, what if he only played against lefties?

Francoeur’s splits against lefties are as follows:

2012 vs. LHP

GPAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSBABIPtOPS+
7517916036915131835.225.307.388.695.258110

Career vs. LHP

GPAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSBABIPtOPS+
574132912103507274818590210.289.341.479.820.312122

There is no doubt that in 2012 he was terrible against lefties. He was terrible against lefties, righties, off a tee and against that guy who used to throw with both arms depending on the matchup (Greg Harris). It didn’t matter the situation; he was terrible. But, amazingly enough, his career splits against lefties aren’t that bad. A .289 avg. with an .820 OPS is serviceable (the .820 OPS falls into the Bill James above average category).

So what if Francoeur was only a part timer getting 300 or so AB with the vast majority of them being against lefties. If that were the case then a simple return to his career averages would provide the opportunity to have an average or better RF on a platoon basis.

Which leads to step 2… find the other half of the platoon.

How about this guy? We’ll call him Player X. Bats left, throws left. Has one year left on his deal at 4.25 million. Team option for 2014. 32 year old OF. Here are his splits against righties.

2012 vs. RHP

GPAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSBABIPtOPS+
1334674121192889444868.289.365.461.826.325119

Career vs. RHP

GPAABH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSBABIPtOPS+
1017346430398871754968366313462.292.367.449.816.323110

 

Thus, in 2012 Player X hit .289 with a .826 OPS against righties and has a career avg. of .292 with an .816 OPS.

Put them together and you’ve got an average to slightly above average RF who, combined, might average around .275-290 with an above average OPS of .800-820. Together they are going to cost you 11.75 million in 2013. (Francoeur at 7.5 + Player X at 4.25 = 11.75 million). Is that a ton to pay for an average to above average RF? Hell yes, but if the 7.5 million in Francoeur is already a sunk cost, you need to invest a little more to make the platoon split a feasible reality and this is one of the cheapest ways to do it that doesn’t tie up RF for more than 2013.

As a point of reference, the top RF on the market is Nick Swisher. ESPN had him ranked as the No. 10 overall free agent this year. In 2012 he made 10.25 million with the Yankees. He is looking for more money and a bigger deal. The Royals won’t, and shouldn’t, sign him. However, Swisher, who is going to make a lot of money on a long term deal had an .837 OPS in 2012 and has a career OPS of .828. Not exactly leaps and
bounds above our comparable platoon.

So, for a low level prospect and a max payroll increase of 4.25 million, the Royals could put a platoon together in RF that might compare favorably to Nick Swisher. However, in reality player X plays for a team looking for prospects and is flush with cash. They might eat some salary for a low level prospect or two. And player X is not going to cost the Royals a top prospect. If the Shields move signaled that the Royals are
going for it in 2013 this is a move that has to be considered. It doesn’t have to be for player X, because player Y or Z could be a better option (you are simply looking for a cheap left handed hitter with above average splits against RHP), but the options are out there to continue to make the club better.

By the way, player X… David DeJesus.

Follow Derek on Twitter @derekjohannsen

About The Author

I never had a chance. I was born into a family who loved baseball and the Royals, so I accordingly love baseball and the Royals. I just so happen to love to write also, which makes writing about the Royals for this site something that makes me happy each and every day. When I first started blogging, a fairly well known baseball writer told me to only do it until I'm unhappy doing it, but I don't see that coming any time soon.

Number of Entries : 729

Comments (5)

  • cpass

    I have always inexplicably liked Ryan Sweeney more than anyone should. He has no power to speak of, almost Dyson-esque in that regard. He was non-tendered and has not signed anywhere, so he could be available real cheap. Less than DDJ (like him too, of course), who will cost a prospect and $4.25 million, then $6.5 million for 2014 (or a $1.5 million buyout).

    I’m still so depressed about this whole thing. I guess I can’t expect to feel better about it until Shields is actually pitching in a Royals uniform at Kauffman. The only Royal trade I can remember that bummed me out anywhere near this much was David Cone for Ed Hearn…and now my age is showing.

  • derekjohannsen

    Sweeney is an option, but I think his ceiling is much lower. While his batting average is decent, his career OPS isn’t nearly as high as DeJesus. The Royals would be looking for two bounce back seasons and I’m not sure that is the way to go. However, his defense might give him a little interest. Overall, I think the extra million or 2 it would take to get DeJesus would be a better option, but Sweeney would definitely be considered as player Y or Z.

  • unclejesse

    So I am going to make a bold prediction here that is based on very little evidence, call it a feeling. Jeff Francoeur is going to have a good year, not great, but good. It seems to me that right about the time he is looking at a new contract, his bat seems to come alive. That is not a greed statement about Frenchy, I might be one of those dumb people that actually likes him and I personally believe that personalities do make a difference on a team. I have played on teams with a ton of talent that people hate playing together and no matter how you try it just don’t work. Back to my point, I think Frenchy is going to repeat 2011, he will come out of the gate hitting and will have an element of luck with his big hits landing and then the second half of the year will be a decent decline. So what should be the take away from this, around the all star break if he is hitting .280 with 15 or so Homers, then you need to trade him at his highest value and not think that he will keep it up the whole year. His salary isnt that bad if he is hititng for an ok average with a little pop and another team has an injury and just needs a rental player to try and make a run at a division.

  • Slappy99

    Sweeney’s splits look good. How about someone already on the roster? Dyson…..his OBP vs. righties was .340 last year. He’s 28 but if you look at an old timer like Otis Nixon, he had his best years at age 32-38. I think his speed at the top of the order could be a game changer. Cain in RF and Dyson in CF would provide a defensive upgrade as well.

  • royalron

    How great would it be to have DeJesus back in a Royals uniform! Especially on a contending team.

    If we couldn’t get DDJ, then how about Ryan Sweeney?

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