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Right fielders who are worse than Mike Vento

Who is Mike Vento, you ask, and why does it matter who's worse than he is? Well, I don't really know who Mike Vento is (he's gotten 22 PAs for the Nats this year, otherwise hitting a blue streak in New Orleans). But that just makes it all the more painful that, as measured by VORP, both Jeff Francoeur and Geoff Jenkins are worse than he is.

Many Atlantans, like a few old-school Milwaukeeans, have an unseemly attachment to their right fielder: Francoeur was last year's wonderboy, while Jenkins looks like Brett Favre. Most importantly, Jeff and Geoff have similar approaches at the plate, which are summarized in this two step process:

  1. Swing.
  2. Repeat.
According to VORP, Frenchy is the lesser player: he's six runs below replacement, while Jenkins is 1.4 runs below. (However, since the Brewers have Corey Hart and the Braves...don't, Geoff's "Value Below Bench Guy Who He is Criminally Stealing Playing Time From" (VBBGWHCSPTF) is much worse.)

The biggest difference between Jeff and Geoff is their walk rates. I can't seem to remember Jenkins ever walking, but apparently it has happend 40 times this year. Not bad...Carlos Lee only walked 40 times before the trade. Francoeur, on the other hand, has only 11. And 10 of those were intentional. (Just kidding. I can't find 2006 IBB totals.) Francouer averages 3.26 pitches per plate appearance to Jenkins's respectable 3.99--again, I don't ever remember seeing Jenkins have a four pitch at-bat, but that might be because I run away whenever he comes to the plate.

Not to belabor the obvious, but Jeff Francoeur is just not a very good hitter. His defense may bring him back up to replacement level, and he may continue to improve at the plate to the point that his OBP gets above .300. For now, though, the Braves have a guy in the middle of their lineup who gets on base like Chad Moeller.

I can't remember the last time Geoff Jenkins looked so good.

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