Francisco showing fruits of mechanical changes

Juan Francisco might have been the least likely Braves hitter to put up a 16-pitch at-bat, like he did in the first inning Thursday night to help run Cubs pitcher Matt Garza out of the game.

An aggressive hitter by nature, Francisco kept his first inning at-bat going through 10 foul balls, before grounding out to first base. He came back with another 12-pitch at-bat in the fourth inning, accounting for 28 of Garza’s 94 pitches in the game over only four innings.

“Somebody said in the dugout he saw more pitches in one at-bat than he had seen in all of the other at-bats put together,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Francisco has seen limited duty this season, playing only 25 games at third base behind Chipper Jones and with 115 at-bats, entering the Phillies series. But he made up for lost time Thursday, using his first two at-bats to tune up, before blasting a home run in the eighth inning, his sixth of the season.

The Braves knew the power was there. And they’re seeing some fruits of adjustments he’s making with hitting coach Greg Walker, trying to cut down on some of his movement at the plate triggered by the placement of his front foot.

“To his credit he’s gone into the batting cage every day to do some mechanical changes,” Gonzalez said. “It’s hard to do that at the major league level, a guy who’s done it his way for a long time.”

Francisco is feeling a difference.

“It’s helping me a lot,” he said.

44 comments Add your comment

P-Man

July 6th, 2012
6:42 pm

P-Man

July 6th, 2012
6:42 pm

P-Man

July 6th, 2012
6:43 pm

OK. That wasn’t as exciting as I was led to believe…

Who Me?

July 6th, 2012
7:01 pm

If Francisco wants to stay at this level, he SHOULD be in the cage every day working on his mechanics. Professionals do that.

bostonbravo

July 6th, 2012
7:17 pm

HOORAY!!!

Don Juan Framcisco can now hit foul balls!!! (baby steps??)
He is the O N L Y guy on the team who sucks worse than Damn Shruggla.

JC Boscan III

July 6th, 2012
8:22 pm

So, in Boston, the rocket shot homer he hit last night doesn’t count….?! If he corrects his horrible footwork, he can be a major run producer….. Maybe last night was evidence that he’s getting better. Check back in 2 or 3 weeks and we’ll see if he’s made true progress…..!

Yogi Berra

July 6th, 2012
8:47 pm

bostonbravo..u need to check you facts before running your mouth.

MyThoughts

July 6th, 2012
8:52 pm

Give GREG WALKER the credit that is “Dew” !!!! Also, blame ROGER McDOWELL for 98% of our pitching woes/injuries !!!!!

tjhook

July 6th, 2012
9:09 pm

Francisco is the perfect Brave to follow if we want to judge Greg Walker’s impact. Because if he improves, Francisco has a good chance to enter the rotation.

tjhook

July 6th, 2012
9:09 pm

sorry – lineup. He’s got good power

tjhook

July 6th, 2012
9:12 pm

Grand Slam, McCann!!! Good jack!!

bostonbravo

July 6th, 2012
9:56 pm

Yogi…check YOU facts.

His power is no good without contact. Don’t bring up Wilson…he’s somebody’s mercy hump.

richbrave

July 6th, 2012
11:15 pm

Thant’s good for JUAN and good news for the BRAVES. here’s hoping it takes over time.

BravesfaninAugusta

July 6th, 2012
11:22 pm

How can you guys blast Francisco when he hasn’t been given a chance to start that much at 3B? You just can’t get over that first horrible game he had in the field (3 errors, Braves lost). He has good a great swing and he wore Garza out last night by making him labor so much. Get a clue.

bruce

July 6th, 2012
11:32 pm

very good news!

Zane Smith's Teeth

July 6th, 2012
11:52 pm

He will blast 25+ home runs next year…for another team.

mace224

July 7th, 2012
12:16 am

Sorry he ain’t the answer at 3B.

John Leonard

July 7th, 2012
12:59 am

He’s cheap,so Wren says he’s the answer.

YoungerThan ThatNow

July 7th, 2012
1:45 am

Well, Juan Fran ain’t up there to walk… that’s for sure! Personally, I like his aggressiveness at the plate and he’s still young, so with GW’s help he’s gonna get better. He makes his presence known when he’s up there usually and that’s a good thing for the Braves, and I enjoy seeing him having an AB. He’s probably not the long-term answer at third base after Chipper retires, but he knows his role on this team and he’s filling it nicely… and that’s harder than it appears at times.

GO BRAVES!!

lee maye

July 7th, 2012
3:36 am

Francisco needs to be given 500 AB at 3B next year, with Prado moving to 2nd. Trade Uggla if someone is foolish enough to give him what Wren did. Uggla is another Lowe, too costly and not going to produce. A .240 or .230 hitter is going to be just that, hot streak or not.

Next year, given the chance, Francisco puts up 25 HR’s and 85 RBI’s and hits about .260. Put him in there, trade Uggla, and sign and trade for the Upton brothers to play LF and CF.

GwinnettDad

July 7th, 2012
6:09 am

Francisco didn’t get a hit but forced the pitcher to throw 16 pitches to get him out. Contrast that with Francoeur, who in the last couple of years made four outs on 6 pitches WITH A STRIKEOUT. I was Francisco’s pitch count to be 34 for the game. Wow. I love Frenchy, watched him since high school, but he’s never become a complete baseball player, much to my chagrin, through respecting a walk. However, Francoeur has always made life easy for pitchers by making too many outs on too few pitches.

terry bellamy

July 7th, 2012
6:18 am

francisco is not the answer.right now the braves dont have one .they have been remarkable with the bases loaded in 2recent games.this is there first success in this situation since early in the season.lets hop it continues.ugglas 8 for 89 has got to change soon.

alanfalcon

July 7th, 2012
7:26 am

Will someone drag Uggla into the batting cage with Greg Walker, Dan can’t be so dumb to believe he is making progress and look at what he’s doing to the team, what a waste.

OTP

July 7th, 2012
8:58 am

He still needs to lose a few pounds.

Mikey

July 7th, 2012
9:47 am

It certainly would be nice to have at least one bat on the bench going into the second half. How non productive does Uggla have to get before Freddie moves Prado back to second and platoons left field? I know it’s a big contract, but what the heck, Freddie left Lowe out there last year long enough to lose 17 games.

Whiskey River

July 7th, 2012
10:03 am

I just heard a trade rumor. Francisco, Pasternicky, Redmond and Guerrin for Liriano and Span. I definitely don’t like it. Does it happen? I don’t know. I hope not.

John A.

July 7th, 2012
11:35 am

Who is the individual that is signing these guys to big paychecks? I used to be a Jack Wilson fan before his head got big after the trade from Pittsburgh. At that time Jack could hit and field, now he can’t hit his ass with both hands. Look at Hinske….both of these guys are being paid 1M or better for part time work, and can’t hit. Who the hell is the genius that thinks these guys are stealing money from the Braves? Whoever decided to sign these guys should be fired….a Little Leaguer can do the job these guy are doing, and I’ll bet there are guys in the minor that could replace both at a lower cost. Now who thinks Liberty is cheap? Would you continue to pour money down a deep dark hole if you had idiots running the team?

Whiskey River

July 7th, 2012
11:40 am

Whatever you say John A. IMO you are full of it.

[...] up a 16-pitch at-bat, like he did in the first inning Thursday night to help run Cubs. Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) July 7, 2012 | Posted by: admin | Posted in: Fruits | Bookmark this post | Tags: Fruits, Latest, [...]

bvillebaron

July 7th, 2012
12:02 pm

John A.

I posted this on another blog, but I thought I would repeat it since apparently you and the other critics on here missed it. Ken Rosenthal mentioned that under Wren the Braves have averaged the second most wins (89) between 2009 and 2011 with the second lowest average payroll of $89 annually. The only team that did better during that time period with a limited budget was the Rays who averaged 92 wins with an average annual payroll of $59. Rosenthal also noted that the Braves have the 5th youngest team in MLB (average age 27.5) and that average figures to go down even more next year when Chipper retires.

Is that what you meant about Wren being an idiot? No offense, but you ought to look in the mirror or at least refer to some FACTS before you post your nonsense.

bustersonly

July 7th, 2012
12:04 pm

Fatscisco could be a very good hitter, .270 or better is he would just learn to lay off those breaking balls at his feet, if you will notice that about all they ever throw is breaking balls around his shoe laces, why because he can’t hit them and he can’t lay off them. I know he is a low ball hitter but the HR he hit the other nite was a mistake above the knees, If he could lay off hose pitches he would either get a lot of walks or a lot of home runs. make the get the ball up and you can have Chippers job next year.

bustersonly

July 7th, 2012
12:12 pm

One more thing, if you all remember when he fowled off all those pitches they were all breaking balls at his ankles, he usually strikes out on those pitches which shows the improvement he has made.

BravesFaninBama

July 7th, 2012
2:32 pm

He needs to learn how to hit homeruns like a professional. I am tired of seeing him hit a ball (finally) and then watch it and flip his bat. Act like you have been there before kiddo.

PABravefan

July 7th, 2012
3:04 pm

Whiskey River, where did you hear that rumor and what is there not to like about it. Pastornicky is a utility guy, Redmond is not even in our plans and has been at AAA for 3 years, Gearrin could be a good bullpen arm, and maybe Francisco develops someday. Span is a very good defensive center fielder with a .283/.358/.386 career hitter with great speed. Liriano is a wild card, but if he returned to form, would be a steal!!! Borromline, I don’t think we would be giving up anything that is that great.

Whiskey River

July 7th, 2012
3:19 pm

@PABravefan I heard about it on ESPN radio. I dont’ like it because in my opinion Liriano is not the answer. He is much older tnan Redmond and Guerrin and I just feel like Pastornicky is a valuable utility infuielder now. Just my opinion/

rocky

July 7th, 2012
3:35 pm

I wouldn’t mind keep Juan as our full time 3B when chipper retires. We can keep Prado in left field. Now we can use the money that is free from Chipper, Lowe, and possibly hudson’s option not being picked up. The braves should have more than enough money to sign both Bourne and Zack Grienke should they pursue him.

PABravefan

July 7th, 2012
5:39 pm

@Whiskey River Liriano is only 1 1/2 years older than Redmond. Redmond is 27 and has never been to the bigs. Liriano is established and when healthy is a number 1 or 2 starter. I just dont think Redmond ever gets much a of a chance with us EVER. He is way too far down the depth charts. Behind the big 4 (minor, delgado, Teheran, Vizcaino) below Gilmartin at AA and Spruill there as well. He probably even ranks behind JR Graham in Lynchburg. So he is not doing anything to help us and Liriano could. Utility guys are not that hard to find. Pastornicky is NOT replacing Simmons at Short, Uggla at 2nd or Prado (when Chip is gone) at third. So he is expendable too. I do agree that Gearrin could develop into something, but so far he hasnt been able to handle anything in the show. Not being argumentative, but if we could get Span and Liriano for that, I would pull the trigger in a heartbeat!! Span gives us our centerfielder should Bourn leave in free agency.

Whiskey Rtver.

July 7th, 2012
5:52 pm

I could agree with everthing you are saying. Liriano just bothers me with is wish wash up and down pitching. But if the trade was made, I could go along with it because I heard that the Nationals are just waiting for Bourn to get out there and they will overpay to get him. I hope we get Greinke too. We are the front runners. I have also heard JJ to Boston for Cody Ross.

Whiskey River.

July 7th, 2012
5:53 pm

Got to go Bye

Angel Wings.

July 7th, 2012
5:58 pm

Whiskey has no idea what he is talking about.

PABravefan

July 7th, 2012
6:13 pm

Yes!! I agree about Greinke, but only if we can get him to sign an extension! Agreed about Nationals, I live about 80 miles from DC and that place is abuzz about this team and they are ready to spend and WILL over pay for Bourn! I guarantee it! Never been a big Cody Ross fan, but JJ is way down too! Last couple of outings not bad, but wouldn’t complain about that.

PABravefan

July 7th, 2012
6:16 pm

BTW Liriano has been pretty good since returning from injury inlast 10 starts. ERA of 3.23 and has dropped his overall ERA by 3 runs a game. Over a strikeout per inning too. Just needs to build some stamina and go longer in games.

AtlantaMelo

July 7th, 2012
6:22 pm

Liriano and Span for what’s mentioned sounds good to me. Would rather get Greinke, Youk, and re-sign Bourn.

Angel Wings.

July 7th, 2012
6:32 pm

Next year. Rotation: Hudson, Hanson. Sheets, Greinke,Liriano. Players, Bourne, Span, Heyward, Prado,Simmons,Uggla Freeman,Mccann. Lets go Braves2013!!!

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