Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur is in a battle to save his career. Francoeur is in the second year of a 2-year, $13.5 million dollar deal with the Kansas City Royals and for the second year in a row he’s struggling mightily at the plate.
The Braves are in Kansas City Tuesday and Wednesday night to tangle with Francoeur and the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Hard to believe that the former wonder boy out of Lilburn, GA, with the big smile, is now 29 years old and may be at the end of the line. Francoeur is hitting just .212 this season, with a .254 on-base-percentage and .330 slugging. Last season he hit only .235/.287/.378.
Francoeur has been demoted from full-time starter, to starting only once or twice a week against left-handed pitching. Reports say he’s lost a couple steps in the outfield, but he still has that big cannon arm that Atlanta fans remember well.
When Kansas City visited Atlanta in mid-April, Francoeur was upbeat about his team and his performance. After a sub-par 2012 season, Francoeur did extensive off-season work in hopes of having a big 2013. Unfortunately it hasn’t turned out that way for the popular former Braves outfielder.
There’s enough time left this season for Francoeur to turn things around, but can he? His 2013 numbers are very close to what they were in 2012. That appears to be who Jeff Francoeur is now at the plate.
Highly unlikely that Francoeur receives a major league contract prior to next season. If he wants to try and extend his career, he will most likely have to take a minor league deal and go to spring training and try and earn a job. If that doesn’t work, he could be back in the minors if he wants to give it one last shot.
Here’s a thought…Francoeur threw in the low to mid 90s in high school and still has a very strong arm. Could Francoeur do a reverse Rick Ankiel and convert from outfielder to pitcher to try and resuscitate his career?