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.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.