Jeff Francoeur: Wikis

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Jeff Brandon Francoeur

Francoeur playing for the Atlanta Braves in 2007
New York Mets — No. 12
Right fielder
Born: January 8, 1984 (1984-01-08) (age 26)
Atlanta, Georgia
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
July 7, 2005 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .271
Home runs     88
Runs batted in     400
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Jeffrey Brandon Francoeur[1][2] (pronounced /fræŋˈkʊər/; born January 8, 1984 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the New York Mets.

Contents

Minor league career

Francoeur was selected by the Braves in the first round of the June 2002 amateur draft. After the draft, Francoeur 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.

Francoeur was a member of the Rome Braves inaugural season team which went on to win the 2003 South Atlantic League Championship. He led that team in home runs with 14. [3]

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 All-Star Futures Game before getting called up by Atlanta.

Major league career

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2005

Francoeur was promoted to Atlanta on July 6, 2005. He was part of the group of rookie players nicknamed the "Baby Braves" that Atlanta called up from its minor league system during the 2005 season.

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.

2006

Early in the 2006 season, Jeff Francoeur signed on with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines to star in the company's new ad campaign, his first endorsement deal.[4]

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. Francoeur was ejected for the first time in his career on July 16, 2006.

2007

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. He was ejected for only the second time in his career on July 16, 2007.

2008

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.[5]

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.

Francoeur at PNC Park.

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.[6] 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.[7] His slump continued after his return to the majors; he posted a .234/.300/.324 line through September 10.

2009

On July 10, 2009 Francoeur was traded to the New York Mets for outfielder Ryan Church.

He made his Mets debut on July 11, 2009 and notched two RBIs in his first at bat. He finished the day going 2-4 with 2 RBI, a strikeout, and was caught stealing once. On July 20, Francoeur hit his first home run as a Met off Washington Nationals pitcher Logan Kensing during the ninth inning of that game.

Francoeur returns to Turner Field as a Met.

On August 23, 2009, Francoeur became the second player in major league history to hit in to a game-ending unassisted triple play. He hit a line drive directly to Eric Bruntlett, second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies.[8] Homer Summa hit a line drive to Detroit Tigers first baseman Johnny Neun who also turned a game-ending unassisted triple play on May 31, 1927, completing a 1-0 victory over Cleveland.[9]

World Baseball Classic

Along with former Braves teammate Chipper Jones, Francoeur played on the USA team in the first ever World Baseball Classic in March 2006. In six at bats, he hit a double and scored a run.

Personal

Francoeur comes from a family of teachers. His parents, David and Karen, are both retired teachers. Francoeur's dad was from Springfield, Massachusetts and his mom was from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Jeff's sister Heather (Francoeur) Karvis used to teach English and coach the girls' basketball team at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta.[10][11] Jeff's brother David Francoeur, Jr. teaches math at Richard Hull Middle School in Duluth, Georgia.[12] In 2007, on SportSouth the "Big Braves Summer" promos, Francoeur revealed that his profession of choice (were he not a baseball player) would be coaching high school football.

Francoeur and his wife, Catie McCoy Francoeur, were married on November 3, 2007. Francoeur lived with teammate Brian McCann in Lawrenceville, Georgia for their first two years in the majors. 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.[1] Francoeur had his own fan club at Turner Field called "Francoeur's Franks."[13]

Community Service & Outreach

Francoeur partnered with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to promote Ready Georgia, a state-wide campaign aimed at better educating Georgians on how to properly prepare for disasters. Francoeur has a profile on the campaign's website listing what he keeps in his ready kit.[14]

References

External links


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