Not long ago, the Royals DFA’d Jeff Francoeur, a guy I like to refer to as The King of First Impressions. He currently resides in DFA limbo, unclaimed by any team. He will likely clear waivers, and can either accept a demotion or become a free agent.
While Francouer carries the “disappointment” label as he travels from team to team, if ever there was a case for a player benfiting from a change of scenery, this is the guy. At 4 different MLB stops (Braves, Mets, Rangers, Royals), Francouer has always stepped in and made an immediate splash, to the tune of a .297 / .334 /.498 (.832OPS) slash line with 46HRs in 1294 PA. (28.1PA/HR).
When Francouer returns to the same team for subsequent seasons, he tends to fare far, far worse. His numbers in those seasons are .252 / .289 / .399 (.687OPS) with 89HRs in 3278PA. (36.8PA/HR). This certainly allows you to see why I chose the moniker for him; he does make a much better first impression.
While this possibly just falls into the realm of coincidence, it is certainly not a function of small sample size, and makes Francouer an interesting thought. Should the Sox take a shot on the King of First Impressions? Should anyone? Personally, I see no harm, especially in the realm of message board fodder. I have no problem adding an .832OPS from the right side this season, especially coupled with his defensive skillset that includes an absolute cannon for a right arm. (Remember two years ago, when the A’s Michael Taylor singled to RF and decided he could jog to 1b while Francouer fielded his grounder? That did not work out so well, and went into the books as the very rare 9-3 ground out.)
It’s not the worst idea, unless they give one iota of thought to extending him. Second impressions are clearly not Francouer’s forte…