I don't talk much about statistics here, and in fact don't pay much attention to them, but sometimes you *know* a player sucks and want to be able to prove it with more than blurting out, "So-and-so sucks!" So one of my favorite fancy stats to use is VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player. The definition from Baseball Prospectus reads, "The number of runs contributed beyond what a replacement-level player at the same position would contribute if given the same percentage of team plate appearances. VORP scores do not consider the quality of a player's defense."
If there was a VORP for fielding, players like Schafer and Frenchy would probably rank pretty high! However, for hitting, they are kinda bottom-of-the-barrel. Schafer ranks 29th of 31 center fielders in MLB in VORP (min. 100 PA), and Frenchy ranks 29th of 30 right fielders (same guidelines).
That means, in all of major league baseball, there are 28 better CFs and 28 better RFs than who is starting for our Braves. That's sad.
It's clearly not potential-related -- both guys have been hyped since their signing as The Next Great Thing. So what is it? Is it mental? Are they hiding injuries? Are there mechanical flaws? Would it be best if everyone left them alone and let them play for a couple of weeks without any media analysis at all? ;)
If you're interested, here are the Braves' team rankings in VORP. Obviously the higher the number, the better the player.
Best hitter: Chipper Jones
Worst hitter: Jeff Francoeur
Best pitcher: Derek Lowe
Worst pitcher: ...Jair Jurrjens?? I can't agree with that!
Statistics suck. I'm done.
ETA: Ah, this ranking makes much more sense. Thanks, Jessica. I knew something wasn't right.
Best pitcher: Jair Jurrjens
Worst pitcher: Buddy Carlyle