Juan Francisco

Traded for J.J. Hoover yesterday, Francisco is suddenly the heir apparent/fill-in for Chipper.. A product of the Dominican, Francisco signed with the Reds in 2004 but didn’t play in Organized Baseball until 2006, when he was 19. As the old saying goes, you can’t walk off the island, and he is practically a walking — or non-walking — example of that cliche; in 2554 career minor league plate appearances, he has just 99 walks, leading to an isolated on-base of .031.

What Francisco does bring to the table is prodigious power. He hit 25 homers in A-ball at the age of 20, and in his other two full minor league seasons also topped the 20-homer mark. He was called up for the first time in 2009, and has played briefly in the majors each of the last three seasons; in 181 career plate appearances he has hit .284/.331/.450, with five homers.

I really don’t know about this one. Francisco meets the Braves’ needs in that he is a third baseman and they need one to play part-time this year and full-time starting next. But what he brings to the table is lefthanded power, which is the Braves’ biggest offensive strength (McCann, Heyward, Freeman). And last year, at any rate, they had trouble getting on base, and that’s not something Francisco helps at all.

Defensively, Francisco has a strong arm and good tools, but conditioning problems (he apparently reported something like 20 pounds overweight this spring) have made him questionable at the position.

Juan Francisco Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com.

101 thoughts on “Juan Francisco”

  1. He’ll be wearing Andruw’s number. Maybe Fat Andruw’s was the only uniform that fit him.

  2. RE:Pedro Sorranto from the last thread.

    Does anyone else think, “F%#k you Jobu, I have Allstate,” when his Allstate commercials come on?

  3. Re-posting from the previous thread:

    I’m basically hoping that this guy can be another Edwin Encarnacion: iffy defense, below-average OBP, legitimate power, put it all together he’s a better-than-replacement player.

    Encarnacion’s batting line in the major leagues: .260/.336/.453. Eerily close OBP and SLG to Francisco’s .284/.331/.450. Now, Encarnacion had a much better walk rate in the minors, so he may not be the best comp. But Encarnacion at least seems like an achievable outcome.

    Like I say, I don’t love the trade. But the Braves had to trade Hoover because they literally were damaging his value by keeping him in the system as a reliever rather than trading him as a starter. And the Braves really, really needed infield depth because our minors are so utterly bare of position players. Francisco is not great. But he fits a need.

  4. Saying Francisco was “blocked” by Scott Rolen implies that Francisco was otherwise a good player who would be playing regularly if not for Rolen. I don’t get that feeling at all, though. It seems to me he might be an adequate player but he is in no way comparable to Rolen.

  5. Like you Mac, I don’t understand the trade from a handedness standpoint. However, I do like the fact that the Braves seem to be trying to fill Chipper’s shoes cheaply so they can allocate funds elsewhere (McCann extension, elite CFer, extensions for younger players). With Terdoslavich, Francisco, and possibly Prado as legit candidates to fill Chipper’s vacancy, I’m a little more comfortable with his retirement.

  6. The trade highlights the fact the braves have been horribly defecent at 3B in the minors for years.

    Andy Marte was a gigantic bust, but he is really the only guy in the system for years at 3b.

    I have lived in Chattanooga for 10 years. In those 10 years, Marte is the only 3b the braves had who was hitting his weight.

  7. #8 – LOL.

    Is the Francisco trade a pretty stark indicator on just how hard it is to find a decent outfield bat or do you think that playing Prado in just one position the driver behind this trade? I like this trade. Hoover has good potential but he is low on the depth chart but here is hoping that Francisco only starts 30 games this year.

  8. It’s hard to see leaving Prado at one position as a factor, since the Braves are indicating a Diaz/Francisco platoon, with Prado playing third against lefties.

  9. Wouldnt we want Prado longterm at 3B instead of LF? Seems like we are getting some below average defenders in the INF, at least until Simmons proves he’s ready.

  10. DOB – Braves to wait to announce 25-man roster Tuesday; not too much suspense, though: I’d expect Pastornicky at SS, Delgado 5th starter, Flande in last bullpen opening.

  11. @12 – Yeah I just read that.

    @14 – I agree, but apparently LF’ers are hard to find or too expensive.

  12. That doesn’t make sense — left fielders should be much easier to find than third basemen. I’m not necessarily disagreeing, just saying that it should be wrong.

  13. Driving too slow on intestates and stopping at intersections where you have right of way are sure ways to get pulled by Police to check how drunk you are.

  14. Atlanta’s not really much of a taxi town, but any Major League ballplayer should have a local car service on speed dial.

    BTW, anybody going to the opening series in Flushing? I’ll be at the Saturday & Sunday games.

  15. If, for example, the Dodgers are in town for a series, those players must take taxis anywhere they might go, right? Do they all just call whatever number is on the wall above the urinal, or does some assistant to the traveling secretary retain a service in each city and distribute business cards to the players?

    If that’s the case, why not do the same in your home town?

  16. @6 – Frightening, to me, would would be if it was easy to drive drunk and NOT get arrested.

  17. @22 – It’s an unpopular position to take, but blood alcohol limits aren’t science-based. The rhetoric goes “lower limits will make people think twice!” But in reality, it only means more tickets are written.

    Even conscientious drivers aren’t able to estimate their blood-alcohol level, so they rely in judging their drunkenness. The obvious answer is to always call a cab, but that takes a night-out out of the reach of many people. In my suburban town, two drinks apiece for my date and I is a $20 bar tab with $30 in cab rides.

    If we were interested in catching drunks, we’d have a different system.. a sliding scale, rely more heavily on field tests.

    But DUI is a huge money maker for police, the bail bonds industry, and defense attorneys; all huge lobbies at the state politics level, who push for lower limits to generate more arrests. The added benefit of lawmakers appearing “tough on crime,” to a populace who, in the light of day never believes they could ever get caught up in this sort of thing, means our laws get worse and worse.

  18. I know I’m perilously close to the no-politics rule, but I don’t mean to lay out a political argument. Just arguing for a bit of pause before we crucify a DUI.

  19. following up on jjschillar at 24,

    Actually, the political push comes from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving crowd. They absolutely mean well, but have not impacted the scene in a way that more than minimally affects the worst offenses. Meanwhile, the more or less harmless masses are sucked into fines and driving record problems more and more.

    Not usually one for the “nanny state”, I think a real solution is to require all cars sold in u.s. to have key pad interlocks. 6 numbers in sequence flash on a pad and you have to repeat them before starting the car. A nationwide system with toll free access could release the interlock via satellite if somebody calls and says “my car is broken” but only after a lecture and an e-mail to the local area law enforcement with the car’s location per GPS.

    In the past, 90% of the problems (serious propery damage, serious injury, death) in dui were cause by “young uns” and “hard core alcholics”. Now, “young uns” has dropped significantly, but nothing is done to deal with the hard core alcoholics.

  20. #21
    I have no interest in discussing the relative merits of DUI laws here. The laws are there whether you like ’em or not, so, if you enjoy nightlife & adult beverages, you gotta modify your behavior, so you don’t end up in the clink. Simple.

    No matter what major city you’re in, it’s really pretty easy to get a car service to pick you up & drop you off wherever you wanna go. They’ll go to the airport 24-hours a day; they’ll also drive you to a bar/club & wait for you, if necessary.

    If you’re a ballplayer & this isn’t your native land, yes, you can ask another player or a traveling secretary for help on that matter.

    A ballplayer making MLB minimum can easily afford this. Unfortunately, wisdom doesn’t automatically accompany newfound money.

  21. @28- He’s LH, which Hinske is as well. From what I understand, while Chipper’s out the platoons will break down as:

    vs LHP: Prado – 3B, Diaz – LF
    vs RHP: Francisco – 3B, Prado – LF

    Hinske seems like he’ll be the one with the PT being cut as he has a significant platoon split and Prado doesn’t…although Diaz was so terrible last year I don’t know why he’s on the team. $$$ I guess.

  22. So on days when a RHP is going, the bench is Hinske, Ross, Diaz, Wilson, and Constanza? I guess when Chipper comes back Constanza goes to Gwinnett.

  23. Oh, and Johan Santana is scheduled to start opening day vs. Tommy Hanson.

    Sat: Jurrjens vs Dickey
    Sun: Minor vs Niese

  24. @18 – It doesn’t make sense. Maybe I should have added that FOR THE BRAVES LFer’s are harder to find. I dunno. Maybe the Braves thought that benching a 3b for Chipper was easier than benching a LFer for Prado. Maybe the Braves are fine with Diaz/Hinske as our backup outfield.

    Constanza scores 450 grand with a couple of good weeks last year. Is this a great country or what?

  25. I do not feel good about this team right now. None of the problems were addressed in the offseason, our ace will start on the DL, our HOF 3rd baseman just had his 107th knee surgery, 3 of our starting pitchers had horrible springs, our starting SS is probably below average offensively and defensively, and Vizcaino is done for the season. I know it’s coming after I hit submit so I’ll go ahead and start it off…


    Edit: This comes from a guy that is optimistic to the point of being naive.

  26. The trade highlights the fact the braves have been horribly defecent at 3B in the minors for years.

    When you have Chipper Jones, you draft other positions.

  27. That’s the thing about the Braves. Everyone talks about what a great scouting and farm system they have and, obviously, they have produced some good players. But they also have lots of holes in the lineup and not a lot of organizational depth except for pitching.

  28. Major league hitters taken by the Braves in the first two rounds recent drafts:

    2007: Heyward, Freeman
    2005: Escobar
    2003: Saltalamacchia
    2002: Francoeur, McCann
    2000: Kelly Johnson

    That’s actually a huge improvement. In the prior decade, after Chipper first overall in 1990, the best hitter they took in the first two rounds was George Lombard, and the best pitcher probably Jason Marquis, followed by Matt Belisle.

  29. Someone posted that Constanza, counting ST, is 16 for his last 91 (.176avg) with no extra base hits and only 2 rbi’s.

  30. He was better than Heyward was last year. I should know; I made a bet w/a delusional Royals fan last year on it and had to grow a mustache for a month as a result.

  31. I’m not sure where the popular myth that the Braves don’t develop hitters comes from. They’ve debuted a ROY candidate hitter for two consecutive years. Five of their starting offensive players were system drafted and developed, including the starting catcher who has been to the All Star Game every year for the past six years. the idea that they aren’t developing players is silly on its face.

  32. #48 – Depends on how you look at it. Its been a long time since the Braves “developed” Chipper Jones and even BMac for that matter. Did the Braves develop Chipper/BMac or did their fathers? Those two have always been good hitters and always they have always looked outside the organization for help with their hitting.

  33. Someone posted that Constanza, counting ST, is 16 for his last 91 (.176avg) with no extra base hits

    It’s okay, because Gonzalez, Caray and Simpson think he’s hot stuff.

  34. Votto is about to sign a 10 yr deal. He has two years in place on a current contract so its probably an 8 yr extension.

    What could BMac get on the open market?

  35. The “myth” that the Braves don’t develop hitters wasn’t a myth in the late ’90s. They basically didn’t develop a hitter of note between Andruw Jones (1996) and Rafael Furcal (2000). Between Furcal and the Baby Braves in 2005, Marcus Giles in 2001 was one of the only hitters with mentioning.

    Since 2005, obviously, it’s hard to complain. But prior to then it was slim pickings for a decade.

  36. Arguably the best hitters the Braves “developed” between 1996 and 2000 were Wes Smelms and Mark DeRosa.

    Helms got a brief cup of coffee in 1998 but really didn’t get established until 2001 and didn’t do anything worthwhile until he left the Braves and turned 27 in 2003.

    DeRosa got a brief cup of coffee in 1998 but didn’t exceed his rookie eligibility till 2001, choked away the 3B starting job in 2004, and didn’t become a good starting player till 2006 in Texas.

  37. Oh man I remember DeRosa messing up at third base. I thought he was gonna put up like a .280 AVG and 20 or so home runs. Then he was awful and made 4 errors in one game. One of my many failed predictions.

  38. @49

    For the purposes of this conversation, you can’t pretend the Braves don’t get credit for Chipper and McCann because they seek hitting counsel from their fathers. That’s just silly. The Braves drafted them, they made it to the majors through the Braves farm system, the Braves get the credit. That’s how it works. I don’t see you finding the players in there whose fathers gave them crappy advice and absolving the Braves of blame for them.

    Also, I don’t know why people are looking at that list Mac posted like it’s not good enough. Seven solid major leaguers (well, six if you don’t count Francoeur) over a decade is pretty good, for my money. You don’t need a minor leaguer to come up and take ownership of a position once a year or anything like that, and you’ll get some players through trades and free agency and whatnot (well, trades in our case).

    I will say that, though the Braves have done a pretty good job developing hitters in the past decade, there is absolutely nothing in the farm system now that looks particularly promising as far as position players are concerned. And that is part of why it was necessary to trade a player like J.J. Hoover for a player like Juan Francisco.

  39. Did the Braves develop Chipper/BMac or did their fathers?

    Of course the Braves developed Chipper and McCann. Sure, they have natural talent and helpful parents, but the Braves drafted and developed them. The Braves high minors is currently slim on talent *because Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman blasted through the system so fast.* By rights, Freeman should be in AAA and Heyward a rookie this year.

    You no more take points off for McCann or Chipper than you do for Evan Longoria having a lot of natural talent in Tampa.

  40. I will say that, though the Braves have done a pretty good job developing hitters in the past decade, there is absolutely nothing in the farm system now that looks particularly promising as far as position players are concerned.

    Disagree. Joey Terdoslavich, Andrelton Simmons, Edward Salcedo. All look promising to some degree or another. You don’t have to be Jason Heyward to be promising.

  41. That simply isn’t true, Sam. Virtually all of the first-round draft class in 2007 (the Heyward/Freeman year) has either made the majors or been judged a washout. Other members of the class include David Price, Matt Wieters, and Madison Bumgartner (admittedly all drafted ahead of Jason).

  42. Well, Price and Wieters were college guys, so it’s a bit different…but, yeah.

    Remember Cody Johnson?

  43. Incidentally, I’m pleasantly surprised that we’re not having the same borderline meltdown about Constanza getting the 25th spot on the roster for a week that Talking Chop is right now.

  44. I preferred Parraz, but it doesn’t seem like something to get bent out of shape about. Especially now that we have Chipper insurance in END. If Georgie sucks he’ll get replaced. And he is fun to watch when he’s on the basepaths.

  45. The current Braves system is very pitching-heavy, and it’s always seemed like the Braves have had more pitching than hitting (at least as long as I’ve followed their minor leagues systems), but they’ve definitely generated a lot of every-day player talent in the past decade. Out of the current crop, though, I’m not sure there are any first-division guys beyond Simmons.

  46. #61 ithink that they have their panties in a wad because the panamaniac had a better spring.

    Mac, which part of Sams post do you find untrue?

    I agree that the Braves have done a better job than the perception at developing hitters. Of course that perception has been fostered by the annual retread the team played at 1B until Freeman came up.

  47. Keeping Constanza over Durango (if you value having one speed guy on the bench, as I do) is the status quo move. Anyone who has managed a group of people understands the perceived importance of continuity within said group — and while that should not be the sole determinant in making an either/or decision, to pretend it doesn’t matter denies reality.

  48. Well, especially when said guy is only going to be up for a week or two (whenever Chipper gets back) and putting anyone else in that 25th spot would cause the Braves to have to purchase their contract to put them on the 40-man roster. That’s not to imply that our financial straits are so dire that we can’t add a Major League minimum contract. It is to imply that when you’re talking about a week, you just might as well go with the guy that’s already there. It’s just not worth the fuss, muss and bother of changing the 40-man or using up an option and starting the arb clock on one of the youngsters. It’s just a week.

  49. New York is great for drinking. Home is a $20 cab or a $2.25 subway ride away. I’ve had to modify my drinking habits considerably since moving to Miami.

  50. Constanza was already on the 25 man roster and will only be a part of the team till Chipper gets back from the DL. His spot is irrelevant.

  51. I think the public transportation to get home after you’ve been drinking has got to be one of the best parts about living in a big city.

    In Raleigh, they have a bus that goes from downtown to campus and is free. It’s nice, but the coverage is pretty limited, so if you don’t live next to campus, it’s not especially useful. :-(

  52. #72–Agreed. It is also nice to be able to walk home from the pub….

  53. Don’t options reset with a new team? Or is that only in the case of a player getting released? I thought the rule (along with the six-year minor league rule) was designed to keep one particular team from stowing away a player without having to give him a real shot.

  54. I think this Votto deal points out how bad things may get for the Braves considering their TV deal.

  55. Constanza has the “new” pictures. He ain’t going anywhere. I wouldn’t be suprised if Bourn doesn’t strike out and Constanza starts the next innning in CF.

  56. The Votto contract is not something we would want. Votto is going to be a great player for the next several years, and then he’s going to be earning hundreds of millions of dollars into his late 30s when he turns into the same thing that every other late-30s first baseman becomes: a baseball player who isn’t very good.

    Long deals are almost always bad. The Twins already regret the Mauer extension; the Nats obviously already regret the Werth contract; the Red Sox regretted the Manny Ramierz contract; the Yankees regretted the Giambi contract and will soon regret the Teixeira contract; the Jays regretted the Vernon Wells extension; the Phillies already regret the Howard extension; the Tigers will regret the Prince Fielder contract.

    And, oh yeah, the Reds regretted the Griffey contract.

    The Braves’ lack of TV revenues is going to hurt them. But an inability to sign 7- to 10-year contracts will actually protect them from themselves.

  57. How many of these long (6,8,10yr) deals have paid off for the teams and the player? There is no real reason that a team should have to go that many years to sign a player. I dont think that deal will pay off for the Reds.

    This Votto deal could very well end up just like the Arod and Soriano deals.

    edit: Forgot about the Mauer/Werth deals, Crawford is going to be an awful one also.

  58. There’s pretty much nobody else we can drop to the minors when Chipper comes back, and we’re not gonna release someone after a week. And no, Francisco’s options do not reset.

  59. Opening Day Roster against Santana?


    Any other guesses?

  60. At some point these deals have to start swinging back in the teams favors dont they?

    They did for a few years. There were several years after the A-Rod deal when there were relatively few 7-year deals signed. We seem to have re-entered an age of the 7-year deal. We’ll see how long it lasts.

    I think the Tulowitzki and Kemp deals will be instructive. These are young superstars who by all accounts deserve the money. They basically form the upper end of sensibility for this sort of deal — plus, they play premium defensive positions, and up-the-middle players are supposed to age more gracefully than corner players because of their greater speed and mobility.

    If the Kemp and Tulo deals work out, then they may provide a good model for the way to craft a deal to lock up long-term a young phenom. If not, then the model will continue to be the Evan Longoria and Brian McCann contracts: buy up a player’s 20s, and let some other fool overpay him for his 30s.

  61. Well, I’d rather have Constanza on the roster than Diaz, so I guess I’ll just sit here and hope for that instead.

  62. Ironically, the first A-Rod deal was just fine for performance received for money spent. 7 years of 304/.400/.591 154OPS+, 329 homers, 3 MVPs and 52 bWAR is a great return for 160M or so.

  63. To be fair, it’s better now than it was then, but yeah, for all the talk about how it hamstrung the Rangers, it’s not like ARod didn’t do his part.

  64. A-Rod’s currently signed thru 2017 at $27.5 M per year.

    By the end of his current extension, he’s going to be a very expensive YES Network analyst.

  65. Not letting me edit…. I never said the extension was a good idea – but the guy was coming off an MVP season where he had lead the league in HR, slg, OPS, OPS+ and WAR. Somebody was going to go big for him.

  66. I imagine the Yankees will make a fair bit of merchandising and advertising coin off ARod chasing Bonds, should that happen. He’ll probably need five full seasons to get there, though — he’s 134 HR short.

  67. I agree, Alex. When I posted #75 I didn’t mean I wanted the Braves to hand out 12-year deals. I was just pointing out the rising cost of player salaries. If the REDS are paying stars this much, how are braves going to keep up? Can they afford to pay anybody $25 million+ per year, no matter how long the deal?

  68. Yes, the problem with the TV deal is that it contains only basic revenue increases to match general inflation, not necessarily inflation of player salaries. If salary inflation is 5%, then we could limp along, but if it’s 10% then the drafts better start getting one hell of a lot better or we’ll be in Pittsburgh/Baltimore land come 2020.

  69. #88
    I know. I just like to make fun of the Yanks when they drop crazy cash on guys who aren’t playing for them.

    (Of course, my season-ticket cohorts quite correctly retort: “Keep laughin’. You’re paying for it.”)

    Coming into this year, there were plenty of doubts about how many more seasons ARod could play. But he saw a new Dr. Fix-It this off-season—Kobe’s doc, one who claims to be able to cure arthritis—so who knows?

  70. It won’t take that long. Especially if we keep throwing away draft picks. They are the best chance the Braves have in this situation.

  71. Coming into this year, there were plenty of doubts about how many more seasons ARod could play. But he saw a new Dr. Fix-It this off-season—Kobe’s doc, one who claims to be able to cure arthritis—so who knows?

    I’ll go on record as doubting that a homeopathic quack is going to reign in the aging process for his Centaur Lordship.

  72. Now that Schuerholz has rigged..err…gotten the draft process amended under the CBA, maybe the Braves can now draft guys on talent level rather than signability issues.

    (One can hope, anyway).

  73. It won’t take that long. Especially if we keep throwing away draft picks. They are the best chance the Braves have in this situation.

    Here’s an interesting experiment for anyone who has a few extra minutes on their hands.

    Go to Google Groups.

    Search through the archives for alt.sports.baseball.atlanta-braves.

    Count the number of posts saying exactly this same thing from 1998 and 1999.

  74. There is always a chance Liberty Media moves to sell in a few years. Let’s just worry about this season and go from there.

  75. Here’s an even shorter method – go to Baseball-reference .com and look at the Braves record from 2000 to present and tell me whether they were right or not.

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