Late 2000's Mets Outfielder: Jeff Francoeur (2009-2010)

Jeffrey Braden Francoeur
was born January 8, 1984, in Atlanta Georgia.  His mother Karen is from Green Bay, Wisconsin & his father David, is from Massachusetts. They were both teachers.

Jeff, the six foot four, right-handed outfielder was a high school baseball & football star in Georgia, winning two titles there in both sports.

Francoeur was offered a football deal with the Clemson Tigers, where he was going to play defensive back. Instead, Francoeur he was drafted by his hometown Atlanta Braves in 2002, as a first round pick (23rd overall).

Jeff moved up through the Braves organization very quickly and in July 2005 was called up to fill
in a roster spot, for an injured Brian Jordan. 

MLB Career: In his first career game he hit a three run HR & stayed hot batting over .400 in his first month. He was part of the "baby Braves" rookie players. 

In the outfield his great arm gave him 13 assists in only 67 games, third best in the majors.

In 2006, his first full season he played in every game hitting & came in third in the Rookie of the Year voting. The fans at Turner Field started his own fan club called "Francoeur's Franks"

Walk off Grand Slam: On May 13th, he hit a walk off grand slam HR, coming against the Washington Nationals. 

Overall, on the year, he hit 29 HRs driving in 103 runs, with 24 doubles & six triples. He hit .260 & being a free swinger, he struck out 136 times.

The next year he improved to .293 driving in over 100 runs once again. But his HR total fell off as he hit 19 HRs. 

Defensively he was super in the outfield, winning his first Gold Glove award. 

In 2008 he struggled, falling into a long slump & was sent back to AA Mississippi to fine tune his skills. He returned three days later due to team injuries & a shortage of players. On the year he fell to a .238 average with only 11 HRs and 71 RBIs.

By 2009 the Payer once labeled the face of the Braves franchise and “The Natural” on the cover of Sports Illustrated, was traded to the New York Mets. The trade came on July 10th, 2009, in exchange for Ryan Church. 

Mets Career: After arriving in New York, he was one of the few bright spots in a horrible year 70-92, fourth place season. 



On July 11th, in his first Mets game Francoeur collected two hits & drove in two runs in Johan Santana's 4-0 shut out over the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field.  

Next, in a three-game series against his old Braves teammates he collected two hits & drove in a run, as the Mets dropped two of three. On July 20th, he hit his first Met HR, a solo shot off The Nationals Logan Kensing in a 6-2 Mets win. 

Four RBI Game: On July 25th in Houston, he drove in four runs with a three run HR off future Met Tim Byrdak & an RBI base hit in the Mets 10-3 win over the Astros.

In the next game, he had a sac fly & RBI single in a 8-3 Mets win at Houston. When the Mets returned home he drove in runs in two more straight games as well.

Francoeur had a hot start with the Mets, in his first 19 games he drove in 19 runs collected 22 hits with 4 HRS & two doubles.

Starting on August 29th, Jeff drove in runs in five straight games.

Game Ending Triple Play: On August 23rd, Jeff made history at Citi Field, hitting into a game ending unassisted triple play, to finish up a 9-7 loss to the Phillies. It was the first game ending triple play since 1927. 

Starting September 10th, he had eleven multi-hit games, while batting .322 thru the last 22 games of the year. 

On September 19th Francoeur doubled off Washington's John Lannon putting the Mets ahead in the 7th inning. He later scored on in what turned out to be the winning 3-2 run.

On September 25th in Florida, Francoeur hit a three run HR off the Markins Ricky Nolasco leading to a 6-5 Mets win.

Two days later, his two run HR off Chris Volstad led the Mets & Pat Misch to a 4-0 shut out win in Florida.

In 75 games with the Mets, Francoeur batted .311 with 10 HRs 20 doubles 41 RBIs & an .836 OPS. Overall, for the season his nine sac flies were 4th most in the NL. In the outfield his .997 fielding% was 4th best in the NL & his 11 assists were 5th most.

Santa: That December he was Santa Claus at the Mets annual kids Christmas Party.

2010: Francoeur got steady playing time as the Mets main right fielder for the first half of the season due to the injury to Carlos Beltran. When Beltran returned from his injury, Angle Pagan who had been playing in center was switched to right field & Francoeur found himself as a part time player. It was the first time in his career he wasn't an everyday player & he wasn't happy with the decision. 

On Opening Day, Jeff began the year with a sac fly & an RBI double in the 7-1 win over the
Marlins. 

Multi HR Game: On April 9th at Citi Field, Francoeur homered off the Nat's Garrett Mock in the 2nd inning & Tyler Walker in the 7th inning in an 8-2 win over Washington.

Francoeur had a hot start hitting safely in his first ten-games batting .438. 

On April 17th he went 0-7 in the Mets twenty inning 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, which dropped his average & it fell further from there. By late May he fell to a low of .211.

In June he batted .310 collecting 26 hits, which got his average back up to .265. He also drove in 14 runs in the month. .



On June 4th, Jeff singled in the 6th inning to tie a game up against the Marlins, in which helped R.A. Dickey to a 3-2 win.

Two days later he helped the Mets sweep the series with a three-run 8th inning HR off Florida's Tim Wood. The HR tied the games & set up for the win with an Ike Davis RBI ground out in the 8th. 

In July he slumped badly, going 9-68 (.132) driving in just four runs, two of them coming on a July 27th, three run HR against the Marlins. His average fell back down to .237.

On August 3rd he hit a game winning solo HR in the 9th inning off Billy Wagner at Turner Field, resulting in a 3-2 Mets win over the Braves.

Later in the week he hit a HR off the Phillies Cole Hamels driving in the only run of the game, in a
Johan Santana 1-0 win at Philadelphia. 

On August 29th, Jeff was traded to the Texas Rangers, for their post season run. In 124 games with the Mets, he was batting .237 with 11 HRs 16 doubles 54RBIs & 10 sac flies (3rd in the NL).

Francoeur's outfield play in New York had been good once again, as he led all NL outfielders with 11 assists while posting a .982 fielding %.

Post Mets Career: In 15 games during September, he batted .340 with 2 HRs & 11 RBIs as Texas finished first in the AL West.

2010 Post Season: Francoeur saw action in nine post season games in Texas batting .132 (3--24). In the ALDS win over Tampa, he got to start two games driving in a run in the Game #1 win.

2010 ALCS: In the ALCS win over the AL New York team, Jeff saw action in four games, going 2-10, playing the entire Game #5, coming in late in the game in the others.

2010 World Series: In the World Series loss to the Giants, Jeff appeared in three games, playing complete games in Game #3 & Game #4. He was hitless in six at bats.

In 2011 he signed with the Kansas City Royals & was the Royals second best hitter behind Alex Gordon batting .285 with 20 HRs 47 doubles (2nd in the AL) ten sac hits (3rd in the AL) & 87 RBIs. In 2012 his numbers fell of as he hit just .235 with 16 HRs 26 doubles & 49 RBIs. 

The strong armed Francoeur led the AL in assists both seasons & is 29th all time with 116th assists. In his career he led the league in that category five times, three straight years in right field.

In 2013 he hit just .208 in 59 games & was released by the Royals. 

He signed with the San Francisco Giants, playing 22 games before getting released in late August. 

In 2014 he signed with the Cleveland Indians was released & then signed with the San Diego Padres. 

AAA El Paso: He was assigned to AAA El Paso & hit the first HR there in the team's history. While playing at El Paso his teammates played a month-long prank on him, pretending pitcher; Jorge Reyes was deaf. Reyes played up to the part for the entire time & teammate Corey Decker even filmed the whole thing.

In July he got another chance at the big leagues & would play ten games for the Padres going 2-24 before being sent back down to AAA in August. He elected free agency at the end of the year & was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies for 2015. In 119 games there, he batted .258 with 13 HRs & 45 RBIs.

In a late August game against the Mets, the usually nice guy- Francoeur screamed & charged out of the dugout after Met pitcher Hansel Robles threw a quick pitch to Cameron Rupp.

Quotes- Jeff Francoeur: "My whole point was let the guy get in the box. If they can't understand why I was upset about that. I've got no problem with the way any of those guys play. They play hard. They're a great baseball team and I've got a lot of good buddies on the team. My whole thing was giving the guy time to pitch because that's bull."

In 2016 he was back in Atlanta seeing action in 99 games batting .249 with 7 HRs 33 RBIs before getting traded to the Miami Marlins in a three-team deal. 

He played in 26 games finishing out his career in South Florida.

Career Stats: In his 12-year career, he batted .261 with 1373 hits, 160 HRs 281 doubles 27 triples 698 RBIs & 626 runs scored. He struck out 1080 times, walked 284 times with a .303 on base % & .719 OPS.

In the outfield he played 1387games, posting a .982 fielding %. In right field he had 128 assists (29th all time) & turned 25 double plays (53rd all time).

Retirement & Broadcasting: In 2017, Jeff began a broadcasting career as an analyst with the
Atlanta Braves. He also works with TBS during the post season. 

In 2024 he announced he is stepping away from an everyday TBS role as analyst to spend more time with his family.

Personal: Francoeur is an outspoken born-again Christian & wears the phrase "Joshua 1:9" referencing the Bible verse, on the strap of his left batting glove.

Family:
In the Francoeur family, his parents, brother & sister are all teachers. His brother & sister also coach sports.

In 2007 Jeff married Catie (McCoy) together they have three children.

Charity: Jeff founded the Pure Athlete's youth sports platform for athletes, coaches & parents. He also supports the Children Hospital of Atlanta.

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