Monday, January 23, 2012

Frank Francisco numbers

Last Friday Brian Kenney answered a question I submitted on Clubhouse Confidential regarding the best metrics to judge closers. He responded that he looks at K% BB% and a comparison of saves to blown saves. I decided to look at how the Mets projected new closer, Frank Francisco, looks within this lens. Below are his 2011 numbers with IP added for context.


As you can see his numbers are actually very good. Saves alone are low but are far too reliant on non pitching factors to make a decent judgement about pitching ability. His save to blown save ratio is fine, four is a pretty average for a closer if not on the low end. His K% is great and at the high end of the spectrum for closers with only really elite level guys much higher.. He is in the same range as Mariano Rivera, Brian Wilson and Ryan Madson. Same goes for his BB% which was in the good to very good range, similar to guys like Heath Bell, John Axford and K-Rod.

Doing this analysis actually made me feel better about having him on the team (but still mad at his salary) however while 2011 numbers all look great but the real concern with Frank Frank is his tendency to implode and occasionally throw chairs at fans. Through injuries and some poor play he has never been able to gain and keep a closers job. I do think their is a chance he could shine on a team like the Mets if he stays healthy. Often times Francisco has lost his closers job after only a few bad outings. On a team like the Mets with not many options he may get a lot more chances to pitch through his problems and put together good numbers over the course of a season. He certainly has the raw skills to do it.

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