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The Season that Was: Juan Francisco

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A look at Juan Francisco's 2014 season.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays signed Juan Francisco on April 1st. I said:

He'll be a good addition in Buffalo, but I don't think I want to see him in Toronto.

Juan had played parts of 5 seasons with the Reds, Braves and Brewers. He hit .243/.300/.433 with 32 home runs and 109 RBI in 298 games. He also had 259 strikeouts in 709 at bats.

April 18 Maicer Izturis went on the DL, Munenori Kawasaki was sent down to the Buffalo, Jose Reyes was activated off the DL and Juan Francisco was called up from Buffalo.

He stayed with the Jays the rest of the season. He hit:

                                                                           
Year   Age   G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2014    27 106 287 40 63 16  2 16   43   0  2   27 116   .220 .291 .456 .747  107

Provided by "Baseball-Reference.com"

Fangraphs has him at a 0.7 WAR, making him worth $4.0 million to the Jays. Baseball Reference had him at a 0.5 WAR.

He had a .327 wOBA and a 106 wRC+..

Juan walked 8.4% of the time, up a bit from his career 7.4% rate. He struck out 36.3% of the time, even higher than his career rate of 34.4%. He hit line drives 16.1% of the time, down from his 19.0% career rate. He ground out 38.5% of the time, down from 44.2% career. Fly outs were 45.4%, up from his 36.8% career. His fly balls left the park 20.3% of the time, right around his career average, 20.9%. It seems like he was trying to hit the ball in the air.

His BABIP was .297, a bit lower than his .323 career.

As you know, Juan hit RHP (.238/.306/.504) much better than LHP (.116/.204/.186, in only 43 at bats).

He was a little better at home (.221/.296/.490) than on the road (.218/.285/423).

Hitting with RISP wasn't his thing either, hitting just ..174/.221/.275.

He hit better in the first half of the season (.240/.313/.515) than in the second half (.172/.240/.322).

By month Juan hit:

April: .257/.366/.486 with 2 home runs, 4 RBI in 10 games.

May: .284/.365/.649 with 7 home runs, 20 RBI in 24 games.

June: .169/.217/.369 with 3 home runs, 6 RBI in 26 games.

July: .258/.319/.532 with 4 home runs, 12 RBI in 22 games.

August: .130/.196/.196  with 0 home runs, 1 RBI in 17 games.

September: .000/.000/.000 with 0 home runs, 0 RBI in 5 at bats.

Defense? He played 482 innings at third base and he wasn't good. Fangraphs had him at a -11.6 UZR/150. He made 9 errors and had a .933 fielding average. He didn't show much range, made more errors than you would like. He did show a strong arm.

He also played 127 innings at first base. He was just better there. Fangraphs had him at a -1.1 UZR/150. I thought he looked pretty good at the position, better than Edwin and Adam anyway.

Fangraphs had him at -0.3 runs as a base runner, slightly worse than the average. He had 2 caught stealing with no steals. He isn't fast.

His favorite team to face? He hit .429/.471/.929 in 4 games against the Phillies. He also his .375/.474/.875 in 5 games against the Indians. He was very good inter league games, hitting .282/.356/.641 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI in 15 games.

His least favorite? He had just 1 walk in 11 plate appearances against the A's.

His longest hitting streak was 8 games, April 30 to May 8.

When he first came up, Juan looked like the third coming, following in the line of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, another guy we picked off the baseball scrap heap who would turn into a star. Then pitchers figured out that he could only hit fastballs. Things went downhill after that.

I thought that maybe, working with Kevin Seitzer, he would improve as the season went on, but he didn't seem to be able to learn. I don't know if he wasn't teachable, or that he just didn't get on with Seitzer, but I'm guess it was the former. The trouble with being a batting coach is that the hitters have to listen to you, if you are going to fix them.

As Nick pointed out, Francisco was particularly awful when he was at the 0-2 count.  Once he gets behind in the count, he is pretty much an automatic out.

I don't know what the plan is for this year. As a replacement player.....he's ok. He hit right-handers well enough. He can hit a mistake a long way. You could do worse if you are looking for a fill in, but I wouldn't want him getting 320 plate appearances for us again. He's on the 40-man still. He's out of options.