KC Royals: The up-and-down career of Jeff Francoeur

(Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Jeff Francoeur
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Jeff Francoeur is a name many KC Royals fans remember well. He could hit well, was one of the most likable players in the sport throughout his 12-season major league career, had priceless interactions with fans, and possessed a cannon arm perhaps rivaled in Kansas City only by teammate Alex Gordon during the three seasons (2011 through part of 2013) “Frenchy” spent with the Royals.

Francoeur’s style of play also endeared him to the fans. He was exciting to watch—whenever a challenging ball soared his way in the outfield, you just knew he could play it and would probably make a fantastic catch.

Francoeur’s power justified the high expectations that he’d be a great star coming out of high school—he hit 55 home runs during his time at Atlanta suburb Lilburn, Georgia’s, Parkview High School. But baseball wasn’t the only game he was good at.

He was also a prep football star.

Jeff Francoeur was an excellent football player at Parkview High School.

Francoeur played both ways on the gridiron and had some excellent numbers—he snared 28 touchdown passes over his junior and senior seasons, had a 1,000-yard-plus receiving campaign his senior season, and intercepted 15 passes his junior year.

The Clemson Tigers wanted Francoeur to play football for them, and although he committed to do so in 2002, the major league draft came in June and the Atlanta Braves selected him with the 23rd overall pick in the first round.

Baseball won over. Francoeur signed with Atlanta.