Been saying this for three years, and unfortunately it's probably too late now, but with his cannon arm, body type, and lack of a position, he would've made a hell of a convert to catcher.
Assuming he's not traded in the next few days, I'd bring him up and make him the go-to LH pinch-hitter.
He has put up the most consistent numbers in the minors of any Reds prospect in the last 3 and a half years. He can roll out of bed and hit .270 and SLG .500. There has to come a point and time where you just have to believe that given the chance to do it here in Cincinnati, he would.
Maybe some severe quality time with Rolen would help him at 3B moving toward 2013. As far as LF goes, if we can live with Gomes out there, we can live with Francisco as a equal defender with a plus plus arm. Maybe he won't go side to side on a ball and maybe still can be taught to charge one.
If Francisco can play a eh LF, playing him at 3B when Rolen is taking days of or DL'd and filling in at 1B for Votto a few times a year, he could get around 350, 400 AB's and probably hit around 25 HR's and drive in 70 from the 7 spot in the line up.
Conceivably the Line Up vs RHP could look like this heading into next year...
Even a sunday special wouldn't be so bad...
I can live with that kinda line up shuffling.
That still leaves 1B/LF Alonso, UT Frazier, OF Perez, OF Sappelt, 1B/OF Dorn, IF Sutton, IF Valakia and C Mesoraco in AAA as reinforcements. Still a deep AAA team.
But back to the original point. Francisco has nothing left to prove at AAA.
In 344 AB's in AAA his #'s are...
21 HR (1 every 16.4 AB's) 70 RBI's in 75 games, 25 2B's, 4 3B's (50 XBH out of 105 Hits in 75 games. A sustainable 19.1% LD% and a very sustainable .315 BABIP.
His slash in those 344 BA's is a .305 BA - .338/.584/.922 - 17 BB - 80 K's - A Power ISO of .145 - Surprisingly low, meaning, the kid's numbers are way more than HR fulled.
If you can't be a good example... then you'll just have to be a horrible warning...
Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels...
Juan Francisco career minor league #'s - .282/.315/.494
Mystery 3B career minor league #'s - .287/.345/.521
Mystery 3B career major league #'s - .179/.271/.299
Just because you can hit in the minors doesn't mean it translates to the bigs.
There are many, many differences between Francisco and Brandon Larson that the comparison is not meaningful IMO. There is no basis for comparison.
The primary difference is that JF is demolishing AAA pitching at age 23. At the same age, Larson was just entering AA ball.
Larson entered AAA at 24, but his first full season at Louisville was at age 25. And his OPS in 2001 at age 25 was .727 at AAA, not the .900 plus that Francisco is putting up.
Larson did dominate at AAA at age 26-27, but that tells us little. Lots of career minor leaguers put up good AAA numbers as mature players.
JF's big problem, a lack of walks, didn't plague Larson to the same extent. In other words, Larson had entirely different hitting issues - his problem was not a history of bad plate discipline.
The two are not comparable.
I don't know exactly how good Alonso's defense is in LF, but I would much rather count on Alonso starting LF over Francisco. Especially as Alonso's power comes back.
My fear (offensively) where JF is concerned, would be his agressiveness at the plate. I just worry that major league pitching will be able to get him out on a consistent basis without throwing him actual strikes.
Defensively, I just don't see him as an everyday 3B and I believe the Reds agree or he would have already been up caddying for Rolen. Likewise, considering the production issues in the Reds OF, I would think that he would be getting a steady diet of starts there in L'Ville if the Reds thought he had a shot at being even a passable OFer4.
I hope I'm wrong, that Juan can hit like he currently is for the Bats at the next level and that he can develop enough defensively to give the Reds something close to league-average perormance at either 3B or LF.
As it stands now, I think the Reds best bet would to include Francisco in a deal to an AL team for a piece at a position of need. If the Reds were in the AL, I believe he and Alonso would already be vying for the everyday DH spot.
Last edited by corkedbat; 07-29-2010 at 07:43 PM.