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the-new-and-improved-jeff-francoeur-2 | May | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

The new and improved Jeff Francoeur

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Great news! We're close to proclaiming that Jeff Francouer has officially seen the light and turned into an OBP machine! I was going to do the analysis myself in a couple of weeks, but Mike Carminatri at Baseball Toaster has beaten me to it. This is the meat of what he said:
Anyway, this made me wonder, if Francoeur has indeed learned to draw walks after becoming an established major-leaguer, how rare would that feat be? And has anyone had as dramatic a turnaround as Francoeur (i.e., a 237% increase)? Well, as it turns out, Francoeur's sudden turnaround, if he can truly keep it up for an entire season, would be the tenth most dramatic in baseball history and the second most dramatic since the nineteenth century. Here are all the batters who increased their walks-to-plate appearance ratio by at least 200% (or at least trebled it) in a season (min. 400 plate appearances, intentional walks ignored in calculations if they were officially recorded)
In summary what Mike is saying is that Frenchy's walk rate has climbed from 2.5% to 8.5%. Mike then goes on to say that this 237% increase is the 10th most impressive of all time. That, however, is being slightly disingenuous because we should look at percentage change not percent of a percent, if you see what I mean. On an absolute basis, Frenchy would rank 3rd (since 1900) behind Clay Dalrymple and Carl Reynolds. Impressive stuff -- especially as those numbers were set 50 and 80 years ago respectively. If he keeps it up we will be witnessing something quite special!

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