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Will Francoeur be Ready

It is great that Jeff Fancoeur was asked to be on Team USA amongst all of the other superstars. It is an amazing honor that, without even a full year of Major League experience under his belt, Francoeur is playing along side the likes of Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez on an international stage. But is this extra-curricular activity really what's best for the young outfielder.

So far Francoeur has played in only one spring training game, against the University of Georgia - not major league competition. He went 0 for 3 against San Francisco in a Team USA exhibition game, and he's gone 0 for 1, 0 for 2, and did not have an at-bat in the third of three WBC games. Eight at-bats at this point in the spring is not the tune-up that he needs entering his first full season in the bigs, and going forward he still projects as a backup and bench player for Team USA.

If Team USA makes it all the way to the finals, then Francoeur will have just a little over a week to get ready for the season, with potentially less than a dozen at-bats under his belt by that time. Furthermore, he will not have played in a full game, or gotten more than two at-bats in a game since the first exhibition game against UGA. Those multi at-bat games are needed against big league pitching to get ready for the season and to work on adjustments to a player's swing and approach at the plate.

Hopefully, just a week and a half of spring training, coupled with the dozen at-bats he'll get in the WBC, will be enough to get Francoeur ready for opening day. But a month into a slow start to the season, Francoeur may be wishing he had gotten more work in spring games.

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