Alright, I think I'm done cackling like a madman. Ryan Church is a Brave, and Jeff Francoeur is a Met. This is now a fact. How much of an upgrade is Church really though? Lets take a look at some numbers. Ryan Church is not a great player by any means, but he is an upgrade over Francoeur. Not including this year, in each of Church's seasons aside from his rookie year of 2004, he's posted a higher OPS than Francoeur has in any season of his career, excluding his rookie season. Church's career low walk rate is higher than Francoeur's career high. Church's career wOBA is 30 points higher. Church is also a MUCH MUCH MUCH better defender, regardless of what gold gloves may tell you (10 points better in UZR/150 this year).
Church may be having a down year this season, but his OPS is STILL 70 points higher than Francoeur's. The most telling stat is his home/road splits: at the soul sucking abyss of a ballpark that is Citi Field, Church is OPSing only .576. On the road, that number jumps to .804, which is respectable from a corner outfielder. Church is also making half a million less than Francoeur this season, and is under team control until 2010...which leaves one more year for DAS WUNDERKIND down in Mississippi to get his game toned up.
All in all, I absolutely love the deal. We needed to get rid of Francoeur and get a capable bat in return without taking on any salary. Frank Wren managed to do that successfully. Ryan Church, welcome to Atlanta (where the playas play). Jeff Francoeur...don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. I wonder if that Clemson scholarship is still on the table