08/25/2011 12:49 PM ET
Francoeur: Youthful club invigorates KC
Royals outfielder recently signed a two-year extension
This might be the best group of young guys I've been around. I was very fortunate to come up in the Braves' system with guys like Brian McCann. We had a lot of good, young players there, and I see the same thing here.
Hopefully, these guys continue to develop what they've learned and become great players. If they continue to work hard and have fun, there should be no stopping them.
I'm only 27 and by no means a grizzled veteran, but being on this team sometimes I feel like it. I've only been up here for six years. I don't go around telling these guys what to do. If they have any questions, then I am very happy to help. I think guys need to learn some stuff on their own. Everyone is going to have their ups and downs. The sooner these young guys get out of their slumps, the better off they will be.
When you look at the future, you immediately focus on guys like Mike Moustakas and Danny Duffy. If you are able to surround this young talent with the right mix of veterans and established players, you have a chance to do some great things. When Dayton Moore took over as general manager here, the first thing he set his sights on was to rebuild and strengthen the farm system. He did it in Atlanta, and now they're doing the same thing here.
I think we have a good mix of position players and pitchers. Up here you can't have only one of those and hope to win. You have to start with the pitching and work through the field. Guys like Duffy, Tim Collins and Aaron Crow are doing great.
One of the things they have to learn is how to make adjustments. They might have some success coming into the league because the pitchers don't know them. Soon enough, though, the pitchers make their adjustments and it's up to these young hitters to make adjustments of their own. I think these guys are pretty smart, so they won't have a hard time making those adjustments.
At the same time, a lot has been made of the young talent here and a guy can definitely have too much hype coming in. I think for most of these guys, though, they're here because they earned it. Now, they are worried about producing and playing, not about the hype. As the season goes on, I think it'll get a little easier for them.
In all, Kansas City is a great baseball town. I really want to be here when this thing turns around, and that is why I re-signed. I'm looking forward to it.
Outfielder Jeff Francoeur is one of only a handful of veterans on this Royals squad. He is in his first season with the club and is hitting .279 with 15 homers and 67 RBIs. Earlier this month he inked a two-year contract extension.