Juan Francisco/J.J. Hoover Trade
The Cincinnati Reds traded third baseman Juan Francisco to the Atlanta Braves this past weekend, in exchange for right-handed pitcher J.J. Hoover. Here is my take.
Juan Francisco, 3B: The 25-year-old Francisco was out of options but had no clear roster spot in Cincinnati. He is a career .284/.331/.450 hitter in 169 at-bats for the Reds over three seasons, hitting five homers with 11 walks and 51 strikeouts. Originally signed by the Reds in 2004 from the Dominican Republic, Francisco has excellent raw power from the left side and has nothing left to prove in the minors, but he strikes out a lot and his plate discipline is substandard. He has good mobility for a big guy (6-2, 240 pounds) and a decent glove at third.
J.J. Hoover, RHP: Hoover is a 24-year-old right-hander drafted in the 10th round in 2008 from Calhoun Community College in Alabama. Originally a starter, he moved to the bullpen last year and was quite successful. He threw in the 88-92 range as a starter, but relief work pushed his fastball up to 92-95. He also has a very good slider. Reports on his changeup are mixed; some observers rate it as major league average, while others say it is below average. He has nothing left to prove in the minors (3.14 career ERA, 425/121 K/BB in 401 innings, 360 hits) and has the body of a workhorse starter (6-3, 230, strong hips and legs) or rubber-armed middle reliever. I have liked him since his junior college days, but he had no roster spot in Atlanta.
Both players were blocked with their original teams, so the transaction should help both sides.