Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Jeff Francoeur Report

Jeff Francoeur, OF, Atlanta Braves
Drafted 23rd Overall, 2002 Draft, HS, Liburn, GA
Bats R/Throws R
21 YO, 6'4", 200 lbs

Francoeur is a gifted athlete with a natural ability to hit and field. He has good speed, power, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes. He's a scout's dream. It is why he was a first round draft pick by his hometown Braves.

Francoeur hit .293/.346/.508 with 26 doubles, 15 home runs, 22 walks, and 69 strikeouts in 331 at bats for Myrtle Beach before breaking a cheekbone on a bunt attempt. Upon his return, he struggled in his first exposure to AA, hitting .197/.197/.342 in 76 at bats.

Somebody please tie this kid to a chair and show him game tapes of plate appearances by Barry Bonds. If he could just develop some plate discipline, he'll give the Braves an all star corner outfielder. If he doesn't develop that plate discipline, he'll be Rocco Baldelli. Major League pitchers love to exploit hitters who chase pitches out of the zone.

Francoeur has moved from center to right field, both as a reaction to the presence of Andruw Jones, and as preparation for Francoeur filling out a bit and losing a small amount of speed. He has a very strong throwing arm, and plenty of range, so he should excel in that aspect of the game.

I like him as a prospect, but not as much as most others do. He has the ability to be a great player, but like Lastings Milledge, he has to develop better strike zone judgment in order to utilize those abilities.

ETA: Late 2006
4 Stars

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