Los Bravos enter today tired with the Mets for first in the NL East. I’ll hit you with some notes:
- So how about that Jeff Francoeur? If you know me, I’ve made no secret of the fact over the past two seasons I thought he was very overrated – most people got excited after his first month in the majors. Through his first 25 games, he had 8 HR, was batting .400 and had a 1174 OPS. In his remaining 45 games in 2005, though, he hit .246, had 6 HR, 731 OPS and struck out 41 times.
2006 wasn’t very good for him, as this numbers continued on the same trend – 132 strikeouts, .260 average, 742 OPS. His home rate rate also dipped slightly – in 70 games in 2005 he hit 14, in 162 in 2006 he hit 29.
2007 is a different story, though. Since he struck out 132 times and didn’t draw very many walks (23) and thus had an abysmal OBP in 2005 (.293). This year, in 30 games he’s drawn 11 walks, equaling the total he drew in 70 games his rookie year. He’s also hitting for a higher average (.299), both of which improve his OBP to a pretty good .362 (21st in the league). He’s got a 866 OPS, good 13th in the NL (one spot ahead of Andruw as a matter of fact, who I’ll get to in a minute). Not bad. Subjectively, it seems like he’s using the opposite field a lot more (as in, he’s actually hitting over there) and in 2-strike counters is swinging smarter, not harder (though he still takes more cuts than I’d like).
- Kelly Johnson leads all MLB second basemen in on-base percentage, and is second in OPS (1021) only to B.J. Upton (1084). His .459 OBP also blows away anything Furcal managed to do (provided he keeps it up over the next 132 games, of course….).
- Only one third baseman has managed to hit more HR (10) and have a higher OPS (1070) than Chipper Jones – Alex Rodriguez (14/1210).
Something that mildly upset me a while ago was the question of whether Chipper is in the Hall of Fame. I’d say easily – until A-Rod retires, he’ll have been one of (if not the) best hitting third baseman of all time. If you look at the other 3B in the hall, this shouldn’t be a hard decision.
- It’s been harped on enough, but the back end of the starting rotation has been really terrible. Davies pitched a pretty mediocre game yesterday. Redman suddenly decided to have an ingrown toenail fixed last week – though those pretty painful (I know the hard way), so I’m willing to cut him a tiny bit of slack.
- Andruw Jones is not having the prototypical contract year so far. An 833 OPS is low for him, and while he’s probably never going to be a .300 hitter, his .229 average is low (usually hits in the .260’s). He’s also struck out 33 times in 30 games, which is alarming to say the least. Subjectively, he looks lost at the plate and needs to trim down his swing – he’s like the kid who tries to hit HRs all the time. (Like, say, Jeff Francoeur before this year.)
- Based on that, I wonder if the Braves would be better served by hitting Andruw 5th and moving McCann up to 4th – certainly wouldn’t be the first time that Andruw has been moved down to regain his swing. (EDIT: Today’s AJC “Blog” wonders the same thing.)
- Losing your closer to injury isn’t as big of a deal when your set-up men are essentially back-up closers.
That’s about it from me for now. Later.