I’ve enjoyed watching the Kansas City Royals have a strong start to the season, as I was prepared to never witness it again. It’s like I was holding out hope that Bo Jackson would somehow return the Royals to glory.
While they don’t have Bo, the Royals do now have some talent in the outfield, although things are a little bit of a mess right now. Let’s start with the good news, shift quickly to the bad, then spend the remaining 200 words talking about how I simply adore Jeff Francoeur.
The Good News
Alex Gordon has really settled into his role hitting third, showing that he’s quite the run producer. With almost 30 Runs and 30 RBI, he has been a great fantasy baseball performer thus far. His 6 homers have been nice, but it’s his .330 average that has helped fantasy owners keep a high team average.
Batting average shouldn’t be overlooked as a category. With players striking out more and more, averages will continue to drop. With .300 hitters becoming a scarce commodity, it’s important to have a couple on your team, particularly if they offer the runs scored of Gordon.
So left field is better than just stable for the Royals, it’s one of the best in baseball.
Lorenzo Cain has transitioned successfully to right field (more on this later) and he’s been a great surprise early in the fantasy season. OK, perhaps he hasn’t been a total surprise – as he was a trendy sleeper – but it’s nice to see him step into his potential after injuries have derailed him for so long.
While I don’t think his .320+ batting average is sustainable, he has been nice on the base paths with 6 steals already. The one homer is disappointing, but I think he has 10-12 homers in him for the season. I’ve written about him before, so cruise over there if you are interested in a deeper look at Cain.
The Bad News
While Cain’s move to right was successful, it hasn’t lasted long. Jarrod Dyson had taken over the center field job, only to injure his ankle trying to take away a homer from Mike Trout. Mike Trout is the only player who can leap over the wall to take away a homer from Mike Trout.
Dyson is a light hitter, but he has plenty of speed. If his ankle injury isn’t serious, he would be a nice candidate to stash as a source of cheap steals. Additionally, he’ll score some runs if he sticks at the top of the Royal’s lineup.
Injury or not, he plays best as a fourth outfielder, but Jeff Francoeur is physically incapable of laying off a pitch. I swear he’d swing at a pitch thrown to the cutoff man. That means he’s back starting in right field and flashing with rocket arm and winning style. Do not place him on your fantasy team. I repeat, do not place him on your fantasy team.
Now can I tell you why I love Francoeur?
First, don’t you? He’s well know as being once of the nicest guys in baseball, routinely going above and beyond for fans, even giving them bacon, pizza and beer money. He’s well-known to be compassionate and generous.
Beyond that, he’s a strong leader and clubhouse guy, going so far as taking batting practice nude, wearing only pink cleats to loosen up the team (no GIF of this fortunately). He’ll even tag the nuggets of his coaches if it will bring a smile.
I love Francoeur. I just wish he could hit the darned baseball and provided even a modicum of fantasy baseball value. I’d roster that in a second if he did!
For now, let’s smile at Francoeur, while we wish Dyson a quick recovery.