So as the season rapidly approaches and the day to report to Clearwater is right around the corner one of the biggest questions of 2011 is "Who should start in right field!? Well I'll give you the answer straight from the mouth of Uncle Charlie (okay not really)........Ben Francisco.
Let's look at our potential opening day right fielder and the kind of production we can expect.
In 2008, his most productive big league season, as a Cleveland Indian Francisco hit .263 in 447 AB's while driving in 54 RBI's and scoring 65 runs. He had a 119 hits with 15 HR's and 32 doubles.
Our ex-right fielder Jayson Werth in 4 seasons as a Phillie averaged 127 hits, 75 RBI's, 24 HR's, 80 runs. Granted in 2007 Werth only had 277 AB's so those numbers are kind of skewed. But why can't we expect these type of numbers from Francisco?? I see Francisco not only taking Werth's place in right field but also taking his order in the lineup at 5 behind Ryan Howard.
If the Ben Fransisco-treat does not satisfy your hunger than look no further than Ross Gload. His .283 career average is nothing to balk at but the fact remains he is another lefty in an already lefty heavy lineup. Our final option would be Domonic Brown. In 62 AB's last year on the main stage Dom hit .210 with 13 RBI's and 2 HR's. With his lack of playing time and ability to get in a flow he looked out of place and at times unable to hit big league pitching. I still think he needs more time in the farm system before he is ready to be our starting right fielder. We do not want to rush into the Dom experience only to completely unravel it and lose our top prospect.
I see no harm in starting out the season with Ben Francisco as our starting right fielder. Common sense would tell you that Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco, and J-Roll will wake out of their 2010 slumber party so the pressure should not be on our "new" right fielder. If Ben Francisco isn't the Phillies opening day right fielder well than Matt Gelb isn't really 17 years old. Peace and Brotherly Love ya'll!