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Thread: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

  1. #1
    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin

    CINCINNATI -- The extension of Scott Rolen's contract for two more years last month would seem to have placed a large Gold Glove obstacle between prospect Juan Francisco and the big leagues.

    The left-handed slugging Francisco, who hit his way up the Reds Minor League system since 2006 primarily as a third baseman, received a September callup to the Reds last season. But with Rolen firmly in place, it seems as if he'll have to find another position.

    Not coincidentally, Francisco spent some time in left field during winter ball in the Dominican Republic. The Reds also happen to have a vacancy in left field heading into Spring Training.

    "His time in left field has been somewhat limited, but he has been very good," Reds Minor League director Terry Reynolds said. "He likes to play left field. About a year and a half ago, he told us he was a pretty good outfielder."

    In 397 Minor League games, Francisco logged five of them in left field. This winter, with the Cibao Gigantes, the 22-year-old played 36 games at third base, 18 in left field and eight as the designated hitter.

    After a slow start this winter, Francisco improved to bat .302 with 11 home runs, 42 RBIs and a .352 on-base percentage in 182 at-bats for the Gigantes. In 131 games combined at Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville in 2009, he batted .295 with 27 homers and 93 RBIs.

    "If he is not our top hitting prospects in the organization, he's in the top three," Reynolds. "It's up to Dusty [Baker] and Walt [Jocketty] where he'll play, but guys that can hit usually find a place to play."

    Francisco was 9-for-21 (.429) with one homer and seven RBIs in 14 games with the Reds last year. After the season, Baseball America rated him the organization's fifth-best prospect and noted him as its best infield arm. Francisco, however, does have work to do offensively. He had just 24 walks last season compared to 115 strikeouts in the Minors.

    The Reds committed two more years to Rolen, who will turn 35 in April, in exchange for restructuring his 2010 contract. Rolen is also a seven-time Gold Glove Award winner, and the club has showed it values the veteran presence in the clubhouse. He's also had a history of injuries that have kept him out of the lineup.

    "Our plan is to start [Francisco] at third base in Louisville, unless something happens during Spring Training with the big league club," Reynolds said.

    What might happen in left field for the Reds remains unknown. The list of candidates includes Chris Dickerson, Laynce Nix, Wladimir Balentien and prospects Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier.

    Francisco will also likely get a look.

    "Could he someday be there in left field, who knows?" Frazier said. "In the little time he had in the big leagues, he did well. He's not a problem in the outfield. He's got a good arm and good instincts. If that's where he ends up, everybody would be comfortable with it."

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  3. #2
    Quiet Reverence Vada Pinson Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    Yes, I would give Francisco a definite shot in Spring Training IF Walt Jocketty has no solid plan that brings in a worthwhile player outside the Reds organization. Heisey and Frasier gets a shot too among those listed next- Chris Dickerson, Laynce Nix, Wladimir Balentien can battle it out for bench/backup strength.

    Juan gave a nice indication of what kind of bat he will hopefully provide for a long time with the Reds in his 14 game call up last season. Imagine Kevin Mitchell reincarnate in LF.

  4. #3
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    Its a paradox. Francisco is the longest shot to be succesful but the most likely to be adequate. The others may be able to successfully reasonably reproduce minor league numbers in the majors, but even if they do, its not likely to be good enough. Francisco has a high probability of crashing and burning, but if he doesn't he'd actually solve the problem in LF.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  5. #4
    Greatness In The Making RedLegSuperStar's Avatar
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    Re: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    you have to figure the Reds have some trading chips.. Frazier, Heisey, Francisco, and Valakia are all so closed to being ready with only LF not blocked. They still have needs at SS and I'd be happy with one of Frazier, Heisey, or Francisco in LF.
    "I could watch video of Griffey swinging all day. It's like baseball porn." - C. Trent Rosecrans


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  6. #5
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Its a paradox. Francisco is the longest shot to be succesful but the most likely to be adequate. The others may be able to successfully reasonably reproduce minor league numbers in the majors, but even if they do, its not likely to be good enough. Francisco has a high probability of crashing and burning, but if he doesn't he'd actually solve the problem in LF.
    You just blew my mind.

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  7. #6
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph View Post
    You just blew my mind.
    Let me clarify. If FRancisco does what he can do he's a mid order bat with massive power and solves LF and the middle of the order hole vs. RHP. If one of the other guys win the job, I think we'll still be longing for an upgrade becuase they just won't solve what's wrong with this line-up even if they do about as well as can be expected based on their minor league performance.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  8. #7
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    Francisco shouldn't be the left fielder, or even considered for it, until he shows over a 300 PA stretch or more that he can post a K/BB rate of 3.00 or better at the minor league level. Not that the Reds care about my opinion on it, but if I were in charge it would start with that and I wouldn't look at anything else until he did that.

  9. #8
    Member SMcGavin's Avatar
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    Re: Juan Fransisco: Left Fielder?

    I don't think Francisco is close to being ready for this. Still like his future though.


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