Braves acquire power-hitting prospect (and this trade’s for real)
#Braves trade pitcher J.J.Hoover to the Reds for 3B Juan Francisco
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) April 1, 2012
First, the good news. Newly acquired Brave Juan Francisco has a .502 slugging percentage in the minors, a cannon arm and had four homers this spring. Unfortunately, the negative outweighs the positive when it comes to Francisco, 24. He’s struck out nearly one-third of his AB’s this spring, isn’t much of a defender, came to camp overweight and has never walked more than 24 times in a season.
Think a lefty-hitting Edwin Encarnacion. Not great, but the price was reasonable (Hoover never projected as more than a middle reliever with the Bravos).
Francisco, out of options, is certain to be on the Opening Day roster, giving the Braves bench a decided tilt toward lumbering corner guys.