May 5, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) rounds third against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Francoeur’s career has been a bizarre one to follow. He burst onto the seen in Atlanta finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting after playing in just 70 games. The next two seasons he played all 162 games for the Braves and even won a Gold Glove, but after that he started to slip and was shipped off to New York and Texas just a year after that. It appeared he was destined for a career as a journeyman outfielder, but that all changed in Kansas City in 2011. He looked like the Francoeur we all saw when he first came up in Atlanta. He quickly became a fan favorite and earned himself a two year extension. Things quickly went south for Francoeur after that though. He had worst season in terms of WAR in 2012 posting a -2.5 WAR. Things didn’t get better for him 2013 as he lost his starting job and was eventually released. He quickly joined the Giants, but he was gone almost as quickly as he came. Obviously he’s had his ups and downs, but he is only 30 and there’s definitely talent there.
As for what he brings to the team, is just another outfielder. With Cameron Maybin slated to miss a significant period of time and the unreliability of Carlos Quentin’s health, adding as many outfielders as possible can’t be a bad thing. Also it’s a very low risk deal and the potential to reap very high rewards. As I said before he is just 30, which is supposed to be the prime of his career. Francoeur is the kind of hitter who excels at all areas when he’s on his game. The extreme inconsistency of his entire career shows the Padres can’t expect him to be like he was from 2005 -2007 and in 2011, but there should be hope that he could possibly be even just half of that player.