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A Tale of Two Francoeurs

There is the Jeff Francoeur we saw in April, and there is the Jeff Francoeur we have seen so far in May. There is the Jeff Francoeur we have seen on the road, and the Jeff Francoeur we have seen at home. I bring this up because I don't know if we have seen the real Jeff Francoeur yet. Is he the guy who hit .216 in April - and keep in mind he only hit that high because of a 4 for 5 game the last day of the month which raised his average from .185 to .216 - or is he the guy who has hit .319 so far this month? He has already eclipsed his production from last month in just half the time with more runs, more hits, more doubles, more homeruns, more RBIs, more walks.. He is an enigma.

A cursory look at the split stats will tell you that Jeff is hitting .204 on the road and .338 at home in Turner Field on the season. And that's what we want to know, "will he keep hitting on the next road trip." Perhaps then we will find out if this new Francoeur is for real. I submit that this entire cloud of doubt stems from an early season slump that happened to occur mostly on the road. Jeff has actually done better in May on the road than he has at home.

In April, he hit .378 in home games and just .117 in road games, but in May so far he has hit .290 at home and .342 on the road. The below chart lays out his splits (thru Tuesday, May 16th):

So the early season slump, when he was just 2 for his first 33, was that just an aberration? Last year his streakiness was well publicized. After busting out to a .413 average in his first month, he hit .313 in August, and then just .247 in September. So will we see the same thing this year? Will he get hot when the weather gets hot, and then get cold again when the weather gets cold? It sure would be nice if he could hit about the same for two months in a row, otherwise he is destined to be permanently labeled a streaky player. But maybe that's what he's going to be - a streaky player; who you've got to enjoy when he's hot and try not to look at when he's cold.

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