LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds announced today that the two clubs have completed a two-player trade, as the Braves have acquired third baseman Juan Francisco from the Reds in exchange for right-handed minor-league pitcher J.J. Hoover. Francisco will join the Major League Club for the final day of spring camp tomorrow (Monday, April 2) at Champion Stadium.
Francisco, 24, finished his seventh season in the Reds organization in 2011. In 81 games played at the Major League level, he owns a .248 (48-for-169) batting average with 11 doubles, five home runs and 29 RBIs.
Francisco spent the majority of the 2011 season at Triple-A Louisville, where he began the season with a 17-game hitting streak and batted .307 (92-for-300) with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and 50 RBIs in 74 games. Francisco opened the 2011 campaign with Cincinnati, and batted .211 in nine appearances, including three starts at third base, before landing on the disabled list on April 18th. He was recalled to the Reds as a September call-up and made 22 appearances, including 17 starts at third base, while batting .270 with three home runs and 13 RBIs. On September 12, 2011, Francisco belted a 502-foot home run that landed outside of Great American Ball Park, recording the second-longest homer ever at GAPB.
Last season, he was named the International League’s Player of the Week for the week ending 8/21 after batting .500 (12-for-24) with three homers, 10 RBIs, a .520 on-base percentage and a .958 slugging percentage. International League managers also rated Francisco’s arm as the “best arm among infielders.”
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound third baseman was signed by the Reds as a non-drafted free agent on May 6, 2004, out of the Dominican Republic and his professional career began in 2005 with the Reds Dominican Summer League Club and over seven minor league seasons owns a .284 (730-for-2581) batting average with 163 doubles, 116 home runs and 439 RBIs in 652 career minor league games.
Francisco was twice named the Named the Reds’ Minor League Hitter of the Year for the 2008 and 2009 seasons, and following the 2008 campaign he was named the Dominican Winter League’s Rookie of the Year. In 2009 he was honored as the DWL’s Most Valuable Player.
Hoover, 24, went 25-19 with a 3.14 ERA in 99 appearances, including 61 starts, over four years (2008 to 2011) in the Braves farm system.