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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Before he joined the KC Royals, Francoeur enjoyed some success in Atlanta.

It didn’t take long for Jeff Francoeur to establish himself—and his bat—in the Atlanta system.

He hit .327 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs in a brief Rookie Ball stint after he signed in 2002, .281 with 14 home runs and 68 RBIs in Low-A in 2003 and .276 with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs across High-A and Double-A the following season.

Then, in 2005, Francoeur’s 13 homers and .275 average earned a midseason call-up to Atlanta, where he homered in his first major league game.

Francoeur finished his rookie season with a .300/.336/.549 line, 14 home runs and 45 RBIs in 70 games.

And Francoeur’s 2006 was good—.260 with 29 home runs and 103 RBIs. So was 2007, when he hit .293 with 19 home runs, 105 RBIs and 40 doubles, and won a Gold Glove.

Then, his career turned.

A promising career moves in a different direction for Jeff Francoeur.

Francoeur didn’t fare well in 2008. He hit .239 and dropped off significantly to 71 RBIs. In 2009, after hitting .250 with five home runs in 82 games, Atlanta traded slumping Francoeur to the Mets in July.

In New York, Francoeur seemed to get back on track, hitting .311 with 10 homers in 75 games.

The next year, Francoeur was batting an ugly .237 when the Mets traded him to the Rangers. He hit .340 in 15 regular season games and .125 in nine postseason contests.

Francoeur signed a one-year contract with the Royals that winter. It may have been no coincidence that he chose Kansas City—General Manager Dayton Moore was in the Braves’ front office during part of Francoeur’s Atlanta years.