Jeffrey Braden "Jeff" Francoeur (Template:PronEng, born January 8, 1984 in Lilburn, Georgia), nicknamed "Frenchy", is an American former Major League Baseball right fielder. He played for the New York Mets, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.
High School CareerEdit
Francoeur is a 2002 graduate of Parkview High School, where he led them to consecutive Georgia state 5-A baseball championships in 2001 and 2002. Francoeur hit .443 with 55 HR and 164 RBI during his high school career at Parkview.
Francoeur also played football, leading Parkview to two undefeated state championship seasons in 2000 and 2001. In his senior year at Parkview, Francoeur pulled in 15 interceptions while catching 14 touchdown passes. Francoeur turned down a full football scholarship at Clemson University to pursue a career in baseball despite having signed a Letter of Intent.
Minor League CareerEdit
Francoeur was selected by the Braves in the first round of the June 2002 free agent draft. After the draft, Jeff was assigned to the team’s advanced Rookie League club in Danville, Virginia, where he played 38 games and hit .327 with eight homers and 31 RBIs. Francoeur advanced steadily through the Braves minor league system, playing for Rome (Low A) in 2003, Myrtle Beach (High A) and Greenville (former AA) in 2004, and Mississippi (AA) in 2005.
In 2004, Francoeur was named the top prospect in the Braves organization by Baseball America. He was a member of the Carolina League regular season and postseason All-Star team. In 2005, he was selected to play in the Major League Baseball Futures game before getting called up by Atlanta.
Major League CareerEdit
Francoeur made his Major League debut the following day when he started in right field against the Chicago Cubs in the second game of a double header. In the bottom of the 8th inning he hit a 3-run home run to center field, his first Major League hit. Francoeur finished the season batting .300/.336/.549 in 67 games, with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs. During his rookie season he garnered a reputation as a free swinging fastball hitter, with his first walk not coming until his 128th plate appearance. On defense, Francoeur became known for having a strong and accurate arm, finishing the season with 13 outfield assists (third overall in MLB) despite playing less than half the season. He finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting while garnering the most second place votes.
On May 13, 2006, Francoeur hit a walk-off grand slam against the Washington Nationals, the first walk-off home run and grand slam of his career. On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, he was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Francoeur hit .260 with 29 homers and 103 RBIs in his first full season in the majors. He also became just the fourth Brave to play in all 162 games of a season, joining Felix Millan, Dale Murphy and Andruw Jones.
In his second full season in 2007, Francoeur batted .293 with 19 homers and 105 RBIs. Francoeur also displayed talent on the defensive side of the field, leading the league in outfield assists with 19 while earning his first career Gold Glove. Francoeur played in all 162 games for the second consecutive season.
On April 12, 2008 Francoeur went 3 for 5 against the Washington Nationals including two home runs and a career high seven RBIs. Jeff compiled a streak of 370 consecutive games played before sitting out the second game of a doubleheader on May 20, 2008.
On May 22, 2008 Francoeur went 3 for 4 against the New York Mets with a RBI triple, a RBI single, and a two-run home run, finishing a double short of a cycle. On May 24, 2008, Jeff hit his second career walk-off home run off Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Chad Qualls.
After weeks of being mired in the worst slump of his career, Braves management optioned Francoeur to Double-A Mississippi on July 4, 2008 to work with his old hitting coach Phillip Wellman and refine his swing away from the pressurized major league setting. Francoeur had posted a line of .234/.287/.374 to that point of the season. Francoeur was recalled on July 7, 2008, after only three days in the minors because of the rash of injuries suffered by the Braves over the holiday weekend.
On May 12, 2017, it was announced that Francoeur will become a color commentator for select Atlanta Braves baseball games broadcast on Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast.
World Baseball ClassicEdit
Francoeur comes from a family of teachers. His mother, Karen Francoeur, teaches math at Trickum Middle School in Lilburn, Georgia. Jeff's sister Heather teaches English and coaches the girls basketball team at St. Pius X Catholic School. His father David is retired and does educational consulting.
Francoeur and his wife, Catie McCoy Francoeur, were married on November 3, 2007.
- On the strap of his left hand batting glove, Francoeur has the words "Joshua 1:9" written, referencing the Bible verse. That verse reads: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Francoeur is a vocal and outspoken born-again Christian.
- Francoeur was ejected for the first time in his career on July 16, 2006. Coincidentally, he was ejected for the second time on July 16, 2007.
- Francoeur lived with teammate Brian McCann in Lawrenceville, Georgia for their first two years in the majors.
- On 2007 SportSouth "Big Braves Summer" promos, Francoeur has revealed that his profession of choice (were he not a baseball player) would be coaching high school football.
- 2007 National League Rawlings Gold Glove Award
- ↑ Jeff Francoeur Delta Airlines Marketing Campaign
- ↑ Francoeur, who has played in MLB-best 370 straight games, sits vs. Mets, May 21, 2008
- ↑ Braves option Francoeur, MLB.com, Mark Bowman, July 4, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-04.
- ↑ Francoeur rejoining Braves in L.A., Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Carroll Rodgers, July 7, 2008. Retrieved on July 7, 2008.
- ↑ SI.com - 2007 MLB Scouting Reports