The Ballad of Ben Francisco

The World Series wasn’t even over (well, officially over) when someone called 610 WIP demanding that the Phillies sign Cody Ross. Never mind that Babe Ross is arbitration-eligible, assuming San Francisco tenders him a contract; the Phillies already have a Cody Ross clone who’s a year younger and made almost $4 million less last season. Malcontent WIP callers, meet Ben Francisco.

Ross career: .265/.323/.466, 104 OPS+, .340 wOBA
Francisco career: .263/.329/.446, 105 OPS+, .338 wOBA

Ross has a slight edge in power (1 HR every 23.6 AB as opposed to 1 HR every 28 AB) and a huge edge in AB (2031 career vs. 1093 for Francisco, who has never topped the 500 AB mark, dropping from 499 in 2008 to 459 in 2009 and 197 last season), though the presumed departure of Jayson Werth will help increase Francisco’s AB. Also, UZR has Francisco as brutal in both center and right (-4.8 and -5.2 career/-19.5 and -14.1 per 150 defensive games) where Ross is average (0.4 and 2.2/0.2 and 2.0), though presumably Francisco will end up in left for the 2011 Phillies, where he’s at 3.5 career/3.4 per 150 (Ross is at 0.9/3.9). Basically, both are better options than Ibañez or Burrell and won’t kill you if they end up where they should end up.

More encouraging news for the man who took Darren Daulton’s number:

He has a 974 similarity score with former Met Benny Agbayani, who wasn’t half bad (and about whom the immortal Harry Kalas once noted, “Benny is of Hawaiian ancestry, meaning he is built for comfort, not for speed”), but his 10th most similar batter through age 28 is none other than Jayson Werth. (Other Phillies content: Wes Chamberlain appears on both lists.)

Ross is a decent outfielder whose 2010 salary of $4.45 million may increase even more dramatically because of a beyond-decent postseason. Francisco, on the other hand, won’t make much more than his $470,000 salary in 2011 without the same body of work behind him…so far. Nihilism? We’ll take it– but we have our own, thanks.

Totally unrelated World Series words of wisdom, courtesy of (who else) Joe Morgan: “When you do not have the lead and you’re the team that can be eliminated, the more pressure applies to you.”

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