Boy, is he old. Nobody’s quite sure how old, but somewhere in his mid-forties. How old is Julio? As a rookie, he played on a team with Pete Rose, Steve Carlton, Sparky Lyle, and Tug McGraw. So old that Kirby Puckett played in the minor leagues, came up to the majors, played his entire career, waited five years, and was elected to the Hall of Fame — and made his major league debut two years after Julio. So old that for the first eleven years of his career, the major leagues had only 26 teams.

Anyway, Julio was the Braves’ most normal first baseman last year, at least after BJ Surhoff got hurt, and wasn’t totally useless, but still wasn’t good. He got on-base okay (.357 OBP) but had no power to speak of (.382 SLG, 6 homers in 338 AB), and was far below the norm for first basemen. He’s signed to another minor league deal. It’s hard to see how he could make the team again after a season like that, but with Wes Helms gone the Braves are short a righthanded bat for the bench or to platoon with Robert Fick or Matt Franco.

Julio’s last hit of last season was the 2300th of his career; his last home run was his 150th.

Julio Franco Statistics –