07 Jul

just a reminder

A product of an Atlanta-area high school, he made the jump from Double-A Mississippi at the age of 21, took a starting outfield job with the Braves and proceeded to astonish at the plate and in the field. No, not Michael Harris II. This is about Jeff Francoeur, who made his big league debut on this date in 2005. Seventeen years later, it’s easy to forget just how good Francoeur was that summer. With all due respect to Harris, Atlanta’s current rookie center fielder, his numbers pale in comparison to Francoeur’s. Through 36 games, Harris is batting .300 with five homers and 19 RBIs. Through his first 36 games in 2005, Francoeur — who homered in his July 7 debut at Turner Field — hit .353 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs. Harris has had an impact with his defense, but so did Francoeur, who was an outstanding right fielder in his prime. Francoeur landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which was a weekly publication at the time, on Aug. 29, 2005. The headline called him “The Natural.” Francoeur went on to hit .300 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs in 70 games for the ’05 Braves, who won the National League East. He had some good years after that, and though he never blossomed into a true superstar, he played 12 years in the majors (six with Atlanta) and hit .261 with 160 homers and 698 RBIs. Francoeur was not the first M-Braves alum to reach the majors — Brian McCann and Blaine Boyer beat him to it — but he was the first to make a major splash, starting on this date 17 years ago. Braves fans should be reminded just how good he was.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: