Q: How much are you still focused on improving your plate discipline?
A: My goal has been to go 10 or 15 walks up in the next two or three years, every year. Last year, I had 42 (up from 23 in ’06). This year, I want to get to about 60 or so and keep moving up.
I would love to walk about 80 times a year. I know I’m too aggressive to get into the 100 range. But to be able to do that would be something that would be big for me. And that’s when I will be able to hit .310, that kind of average.
After seeing this, I realized that we have a good opportunity for a reader contest. Well, let’s make it two contests.
How many bases on balls will Jeff Francoeur take from Opening Day–May 31, 2008?
How many bases on balls will Jeff Francoeur take during the 2008 regular season?
The prize for both contests will be a signed copy of The Baseball Economist. You can choose between the hardback or paperback versions. The first contest is for Father’s Day, with the idea being that I will sign the book to your father or father-figure of your choosing (father-in-law, uncle, Charles Barkley…I don’t care). The second contest is for personal glory.
To get things started, I submit my entries.
Here are the rules:
- Submit your entry in the comments section. E-mailed submissions will not be accepted. If your comment does not appear immediately upon posting, do not worry, because it will appear after it has been moderated.
- One entry per person.
- The first person to predict the correct walk total will be declared the winner.
- You must submit a valid e-mail address, which will not be published, so that I can award the prize.
- The first line of your post should include the number of walks you expect at the end of games started on May 31. Use the following format: March–May: 16.
- The second line of your post should include the number of walks you expect at the end of the 2008 regular season. Use the following format: 2008: 45.
- Any commentary you wish to add must be submitted in a separate paragraph below the numbers submitted for the contest. Submissions that list the predictions within prose will be deleted and declared invalid.
- Entries must be submitted by March 28, 2008.
- Should Jeff Francoeur suffer a significant injury, or be involved in a situation, that will cause him miss a significant portion of the season prior to the start of the regular season, the contest will be suspended.
- If my prediction is correct, then the prize will be awarded to the next closest submission. If two submissions are equidistant from my prediction, then the lower prediction will win (The Price is Right rule).
- I reserve the right to exclude the participation of anyone.
- I am the final judge of the winner and I reserve the right to adjust for complexities and unforeseen events as I choose.