With Carlos Beltran closing in on his return to the New York Mets, speculation is running wild that he will replace Angel Pagan in the lineup. 


Pagan has done nothing but form a dynamic one-two punch atop the Mets lineup with Jose Reyes.  Jeff Franceour?  He’s just done nothing.

OK, that’s a bit of a stretch, but Franceour certainly hasn’t performed like a player who should be guaranteed a roster spot.  While his defense is solid and he has a cannon for an arm, his offense just hasn’t quite been up to snuff (all stats are through Thursday):

240 At Bats, .263 Batting Average (63 Hits), 7 Home Runs, 38 RBI, 32 Runs, 7 Stolen Bases, .316 On Base Percentage, .408 Slugging Percentage, .281 Batting Average on Balls in Play.

After hitting 29 HR in 2006 with the Braves, everyone thought that he had the potential to be a solid power contributor.  Unfortunately, that just hasn’t happened.  Just look at his HR/FB since: 2007 – 9.8%, 2008 – 6.5%, 2009 – 7.1%, 2010 – 7.5%

That’s certainly not a middle of the order bat in the making, is it?  From 2007-2009 he’s hit a total of 45 HR, never hitting more then 19 (2007).  At this point, it’s impossible to depend on him to finally rediscover that type of stroke, especially in CitiField.

Does his bat actually fit into the ballpark?  It’s not like he’s piling up the extra base hits, with 12 doubles and one triple.  It has led to a slugging percentage of .408, putting him in the bottom 60 in the league. 

He’s been awful against right-handed pitchers, to the tune of a .229 average in 179 AB.  In contrast, he’s hit .361 against southpaws (in 61 AB).  That’s a stark difference and certainly could play a factor into when he is slotted in the lineup.

One of the knocks against Franceour has always been his ability to consistently get on base, which once again is rearing its ugly head.  Thus far he’s posted an OBP of .316, actually his best mark since 2007.  Unfortunately, it puts him in the bottom 35 of the league.

So, let’s get this straight.  You have a player whose average is mediocre, has not been hitting for any type of power, whether it be home runs or just the double or triple variety, and struggles to get on base.

Exactly why would this guy be guaranteed a spot in anyone’s roster?  Defense can only take you so far.  The Mets are in the midst of a division chase and it is not like Angel Pagan is a slouch with the glove. 

If you are a Jeff Franceour owner (most likely just NL-only and five-outfielder formats), you may want to make sure you have a viable replacement in hand.  The days of him being an everyday player could be numbered.

What are your thoughts on Franceour?  Do you think he belongs in the Mets’ everyday lineup?  Do you even consider him fantasy viable?

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