The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds reached a deal on Sunday that helps both teams add depth and insurance to already promising rosters. The Reds shipped third-baseman, Juan Francisco, to the Braves for pitching prospect JJ Hoover.
Francisco was out of options for the Reds and had not done enough to win a spot on the team this spring. Francisco will make the Braves’ opening day roster and fill in for injured third-baseman, Chipper Jones, until he comes off the disabled list. Francisco will then go to the bench and be the primary backup for Jones throughout the season. He could be a potential replacement for Jones at the end of this season when he retires.
Francisco was ranked one of the Reds’ top ten prospects before in 2011 according to baseball prospectus. His value is tied to his arm and to his power. He was also ranked as the best power-hitting prospect in the Reds’ organization in 2011 as well. His value has slipped somewhat this year. He strikes out a lot and doesn’t walk very much.
This deal will thrust Francisco into the every day lineup and allow the Braves to keep Martin Prado in left-field.
The Reds get former Atlanta Braves’ prospect JJ Hoover. Hoover is a promising, young arm. However, he was caught in a log-jam of prospects. His ceiling is projected to be a #3 starter, but he still has not put everything together. He could have a shot to pitch for the Reds out of their bullpen in 2012 or in the rotation if injuries occur.