Veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur is hanging up the cleats and going in to broadcasting, Fox Sports announced on Friday. Francouer will be joining the Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast broadcast teams and will serve as an analyst on “Braves LIVE!” beginning on Monday, June 5.
We’re guessing he’ll fit in just fine.
Still only 33 years old, Francoeur packed quite a bit into his 12-year MLB career. Perhaps he was never the standout talent many expected him to be, but he put up respectable numbers, hitting 261/.303/.416 with 160 homers, 281 doubles and 27 triples over 1481 major league games. He also possessed one of the game’s best outfield arms, which led to some of the more impressive long-distance throws we’ve ever seen.
Beyond that though, Francoeur was always recognized as of one baseball’s brightest personalities. Even as his skills diminished, which led him to try reinventing himself as a pitcher, teams remained interested in Francoeur based strongly on his personality and how well he fit into the clubhouse.
Francoeur was viewed as a positive influence who could also share his experiences, help bring younger players along, and provide some levity during the long season. Those are traits that translate into being a good teammate, and should translate just as well into broadcasting. In fact, those traits should eventually help Francoeur stand out in a field that has seemingly become flooded in recent years.
“We are excited to add Jeff to our Braves telecasts on Fox Sports,” Randy Stephens, executive producer of Fox Sports South, said in the news release. “He has the knowledge, experience and personality to be a first class broadcaster and, as an Atlanta native, he knows firsthand what the Braves mean to the community.”
In addition to his knowledge and experience, Francoeur possesses a natural charisma that never seems to turn off. Though we’re disappointed to see him walk away as a player, we’re pretty excited we’ll get to hear more from him in his new field.
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