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Jeff Francoeur threw a batter out at first from right field

Sep 8, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

Kansas City Royals Photo Day Getty Images

I’ve offered several kudos to Jeff Francoeur for having a better-than-expected season this year. But given that I’ve still offered approximately 598 more slams than kudos in his career, I still have some work to do.  So it’s definitely appropriate for me to note that Francoeur shot a dude down cold from right field yesterday afternoon.

It was Michael Taylor at the plate. Here’s the play. Bang, bang, he’s dead.

I don’t mean this as a slight at Francoeur, but really, the reason 99% of right fielders don’t make that play has just as much to do with the fact that they’d think twice about it as it has to do with their arm.  Francoeur has a fabulous arm, of course, but what really made that play is that it just never occurred to him that he’s not supposed to be able to throw a young guy out on that play. A guy not without at least a little speed (Taylor has stolen bases in the double digits several times in the minors).

My credit-where-it-is-due tour of the Jeff Francoeur Experience will continue unless and until he starts doing dumb stuff again.  But there really hasn’t been any of that to speak of this year.

  1. Francisco (FC) - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Maybe he’s been replaced by a Nexus 6 skinjob… that would explain a lot of things ;)

  2. randall351 - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    I’m not sure how accurate it is, but the Royals are using Francouer for a promotion coming up to try and sell tickets, and they are claiming that he is the only player in baseball to have 40+ doubles and 20 steals this season.
    I don’t really have the time or the inclination to fact check that, but perhaps someone who has an army of baseball bloggers/fact checkers could do such a thing?

    • Ace - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      Yes, that’s actually true as of today, but it probably won’t be for long. Ellsbury has 39 doubles and 36 steals, Justin Upton has 38 doubles and 20 steals, and there are a couple others within striking distance.

  3. shaggylocks - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    Woah. The Royals should think about re-signing that guy! For, like, boatloads of money!

  4. sportsdrenched.com - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    When you consider that Royals fans had to watch Jose Guillen and Mitch Miaer in right for the last 3 seasons you can understand our giddyness about having a legitamte if not above average major leaguer out there.

    And BTW, all three Royals OF have more than 40 doubles.

    • dontjinxthedirt - Sep 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

      Isn’t Melk Man stuck on 39?
      shoulda held up on tonights 3-bagger!

  5. sdelmonte - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    His defense has always been sterling.

    Maybe he would have been better suited to another era, when OBP was just a rumor and players with great defense but limited hitting skills tended to last longer.

  6. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    That is indeed an awesome play. Givin’ credit where it’s due…kudos Craig.

  7. sneschalmers - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    I played ball through college and one of the things all of my right fielders talked about was wanting to throw a guy out at first. It takes a really special set of circumstances (shallow line drive, slowish runner, very strong arm) to make it happen, but I guarantee you that every right fielder has thought about doing it before. The reason it doesn’t happen often is because that set of circumstances rarely happens, and if you mess up the throw, you’re going to get reamed by the coach.

  8. cur68 - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Frenchy did do good, didn’t he? A hell of a throw. Accurate and with plenty on it to reach the catcher in time. Speaking of the catcher, that kid the Royals employ to jitter around behind home plate like a 6 foot 6 inch weasel in a hen house going for eggs while dodging an angry rooster, sure came up big by holding onto the ball even though he got trucked by Michael Taylor. Salvador Perez deserves some of the nod here. His head must have been gonging after that smack.

    • Joe - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      I don’t think that’s the play we’re talking about here.

    • clydeserra - Sep 8, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      That wasn’t 6’6″ michael taylor.

      That was Jemile Weeks. 5’9″ standing on his tippy toes and 130 soaking wet with sand in his pockets.

  9. stevejeltzjehricurl - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Just once, I’d like to see that play happen to preserve a no-hit bid. But cool nonetheless.

  10. goawaydog - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Awesome and loved the grin he had on the way back to the dugout. Some kudos to the first baseman too for hustling back to the bag when he sees Francouer charging… He must have been thinking “holy crap! He might actually throw me the ball!”

    • clydeserra - Sep 8, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      best part was he and the batter were smiling at each other.

  11. bigleagues - Sep 8, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    ANNOUNCER: and Taylor with a sharp base hit to RF, oh snap! Frenchy changed those plans. 9-3, Taylor gunned down from RF by Jeff Francouer who did not give up on the play.

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