May 5, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur (21) rounds third against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants Sign Jeff Francoeur

The San Francisco Giants hope to continue their trend of successful scrapheap pickups with the signing of Jeff Francoeur. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Tuesday that the Giants signed Francoeur, who was released by the Kansas City Royals last week.

The Giants are struggling to get any type of consistent production from Andres Torres and Gregor Blanco. Since Angel Pagan’s injury, both have become everyday fixtures in the Giants’ depleted lineup. In turn, their flaws have been exposed, as Torres has a .671 OPS and Blanco has a .720 OPS this season.

Blanco had a .799 OPS  in June, but he has a .582 OPS thus far in July. You can blame the extra at-bats to his downfall. Torres has had his hot streaks too, but he’s struggled from an overall standpoint since the beginning of June. His defense has been wobbly too.

Put it all together, and you have the seventh-worst outfield OPS (.699) in baseball.

However, the stats don’t suggest that Francoeur has done or will do any better. In 183 at-bats with the Royals this year, he totaled a mere .571 OPS. But he does have more power than Blanco and Torres, making him a Pat Burrell-esque pickup. The Giants signed Burrell to a minor league deal in 2010, sent him down to the minor leagues, called him up and he hit 18 home runs in 96 games. That’s catching lightning in a bottle, folks.

Being a career .264/.307/.422 hitter, Francoeur does have some upside. And given that the Giants will be paying just a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum, there’s essentially no risk involved.

So yeah, the Giants are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.

Francoeur will first report to Fresno.

Tags: Jeff Francoeur San Francisco Giants

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