Former Brave is ‘worst player in baseball,’ but not as bad as Jerry Royster in ’77

According to Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference’s WAR (Wins Above Replacement) calculation, Jeff Francoeur is the the worst player in the game, though he’s not the worst ever.

Jerry Royster‘s 1977 with Atlanta, a -3.7 FanGraphs and -4.1 B-R debacle. The utilityman hit .216/.278/.288 and, the metrics say, played brutal defense.

Baseball Reference ranks Frenchy’s WAR at -3.0 — the 11th worst season for an offensive player since 1901.

With a dreadful August and September, Francoeur could threaten the season both sites agree is the worst ever.


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7 Comments on Former Brave is ‘worst player in baseball,’ but not as bad as Jerry Royster in ’77

  1. PepeFreeUs // August 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm //

    Whether you want to believe this or not, that card is a very low population item in PSA 9 or above. I’ve looked and looked for one for my team set (which is generally full of similarly underwhelming characters), thus far to no avail. I have the OPC, which is pretty cool (same photo but lacks the nifty All Rookie Team cup.)

    I still love Froggy and no one can ever make me say different.

  2. Jack Straw // August 30, 2012 at 7:52 pm //

    Royster was a disappointment year after year. Bad bat, bad glove, bad attitude, he epitomized, for me, everything that kept us from being a decent team for 10 years. For some reason he never figured out that he did not have big league power.

  3. Royster was very good in ’82, save for a memorable miscue at Dodgers Stadium. And he was Pearl Sandow’s favorite player, so he couldn’t have been all bad.

  4. PepeFreeUs // August 31, 2012 at 12:33 am //

    He was pretty solid in ’79, too (for what that was worth)

  5. Jack Straw // August 31, 2012 at 6:10 am //

    For a guy who didn’t hit much, Royster didn’t walk much, either. Didn’t steal very many bases. Didn’t do anything well. He came to us as the best prospect in baseball, having blistered the PCL. We gave up Dusty Baker for him, for crying out loud. Royster wasn’t even as good as Fred Patek.
    I watched Royster refuse to sign autographs for some kids after yet another Braves loss, circa 1980. Just flat refused. One of the kids said “Gary Matthews always signs for us.” “Then go ask Matthews” rejoined Royster. It was hard to root for him after that.

  6. the real big cat // August 31, 2012 at 7:33 am //

    the catch he made in ’82, hanging over the chain link fence at the old park, was the best we’d ever seen until otis came along. don’t remember much else about him.

  7. The Braves actually moved Darrell Evans to 1B to accommodate Royster. The ’70’s were surreal.

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