Last season brought us the worst-kept secret of the draft, when the Braves selected Jeff Francoeur and bought him out of a football scholarship to Clemson University.
Francoeur is the prototypical Braves prospect. Besides being born and raised in suburban Atlanta, he’s a tremendous athlete who could excel at multiple sports. The Braves covet players with physical skills, trusting their player development personnel to translate the natural abilities into baseball productivity. While many organizations have attempted to copy this philosophy, few, if any, have managed to pull it off. Regardless of the lack of success of their imitators, however, the Braves have held firm to their beliefs. The high-risk, high-reward philosophies instituted in the early 90s helped produce the crop of homegrown talent that led to 11 consecutive division championships. While one could argue that there are more cost-effective ways to develop talent, the Braves certainly have reason to feel vindicated in their methods.
He’s compiled a line of .286/.322/.451 this season, with a .272 Major League EqA. That line reveals the major flaw in Francoeur’s game though. In 455 at-bats, he has managed just 22 walks, impatient even by the Braves’ standards.
Terrible performance and tons of playing time has made Endy Chavez a giant drag on the Expos’ offense. The off-season’s Ortiz-for-Moss deal wasn’t as bad as you think for the Giants. Kevin Cash is the latest catcher-of-the-future for the Blue Jays. These and other news and notes out of Montreal, San Francisco, and Toronto in today’s Prospectus Triple Play.
Yesterday’s Giants/Mets game almost certainly will not be made up, given that the Giants have a big lead in the NL West and the Mets won’t need to play the game to determine their draft position. The cancellation does bring to mind that one game that appears very relevant has yet to be made up. The Diamondbacks and Royals have an interleague contest that hasn’t been rescheduled yet, and share just one highly inconvenient off day for the rest of the season.
I like chaos, and the idea that the two teams might have to play on September 29 to determine who does or does not go to the playoffs–or better yet, who goes to a one-game playoff, or who’s in a three-way tie–is just a delicious notion. I’m picturing the Marlins watching the game in an airport bar, bags packed, with plans to fly to Arizona if the Snakes win, and Atlanta if they don’t.
In general, baseball won’t be affected by the power outage. The Tigers, Yankees and Blue Jays are on the road. The Indians are home facing the Devil Rays, a series that can be cancelled as a public service. The Mets face the Rockies at home. Now, the Rockies are a fringe wild-card candidate at best, and are scheduled to be in the city through Monday. It’s possible that the teams could make up cancellations tonight and tomorrow–I’d imagine powering up a ballpark is low on the priority list–with doubleheaders Sunday and Monday.
For those of you who haven’t noticed, we are debuting several new statistical reports this week that will be updated daily throughout the season. All of these reports are currently available as a free preview at our Statistics page. Some of these reports, however, will be offered as part of Baseball Prospectus Premium in the coming weeks and months.
Adam Riggs gets a well-deserved shot with the Angels. The Braves aim to avoid the mistake made by the ’93 Phillies. Neal Cotts could end up being the prize in the Koch-Foulke deal for the White Sox. The Royals and A’s designate Febles and Piatt for assignment, drawing mixed reviews. These and other transactions, Chris Kahrl-style, in this edition of Transaction Analysis.