FanPost

Jason Heyward vs. Jeff Francoeur

This afternoon I was watching when Jason Heyward was hit in the jaw with a pitch. He came out of the game and was spitting up blood, and as I write this I still don't know the status of the injury. But I do know I am nervous about the possibility of losing him. After watching this I began to reflect on his career so far, how it hasn't quite been what was expected since he busted open the MLB gates back in 2010. That's 4 years in the big leagues - the same amount of time as one of my favorite Braves players, Jeff Francoeur, played in Atlanta. So I thought, I'd like to see a comparison of the two - because Frenchy's time was often criticized while JHey not so much.

(At the risk of being labeled horribly insensitive to Jason's medical health I proceed...)

Heyward

  • 522 games
  • 1853 at-bats
  • 72 HR
  • 233 RBI
  • .260 average
  • .351 OB%
  • 43 SB
  • 286 runs.

Francoeur

  • 631 games
  • 2453 at-bats
  • 78 HR
  • 359 RBI
  • .265 average
  • .308 OB%
  • 14 SB
  • 310 runs.

The first thing that jumps out is games played. Frenchy was much more durable than Jason has been. JHey has played in 85% of team games during his first 4 years, whereas Jeff played in 98% of team games (and that 2% was him getting benched for slumping).

So over roughly the same time period, Heyward has played in 109 less games but way less RBI (126). Francoeur's average is actually better as well. Heyward's considerably higher OB% has led to more runs per game played, .54 to Frenchy's .49, but there's not too much difference...at least not as much as you'd think considering 2010-present has been a much better stretch of Braves teams than 2005-2009.

And on top of all that, Francoeur won a Gold Glove in 2007, and was always among the league leaders in outfield assists.

When Francoeur left I was glad. He was so frustrating. And Heyward's patience at the plate seems to give him more leeway, but the numbers don't bear out that he's really that much better. Maybe there are saber-metrics that say Jason is better, I don't know and don't care. I'd probably rather have JHey in there for whatever reason. But it's interesting to see the comparison, after Atlanta had enough of the hometown hero, the guy who was supposed to be the next great Brave hasn't panned out much better so far. Hopefully Jason will be back soon and nothing will come of the jaw injury.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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