Atlanta Braves Third Base Battle Might be Tilting to Juan Francisco

By David Miller
juan francisco braves
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The one thing that the Atlanta Braves have not had to worry about much over the past twenty years is exactly the thing that is most up in the air this year. Who will start at third base? The departure of Martin Prado and retirement of Chipper Jones has left the spot open for either Juan Francisco, a product of the Braves system, or Chris Johnson who came over via trade. At this point it is still unsure who will win the job, if anyone.

For a while it was clear that Johnson was the one with momentum. He was hitting well and playing well. Francisco however keeps working on his swing in the way the coaches want him to. Not just that but he is getting results. Base hits and homers to the opposite field are the best thing for anyone to see from Francisco right now and he is getting them. Now they are working with his swing to try and get him prepared for when pitchers start changing speeds and throwing good breaking stuff out of the zone. That is good work for anyone but for Francisco it might mean he is gaining the upper hand in the third base job contest.

Johnson has still been good but his defense has shown holes enough times for people to start arching their brow at him. Maybe he is solid offensively but not that solid defensively right now. If that is so then an improved Francisco with better hitting habits and less pull tendency might very well be the better man for the job. Either way it looks to be coming down to the wire. It is likely that when pitchers start to really try and get outs in a couple of weeks, Francisco could take the job if he continues to hit well.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.

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