Lake Buena Vista, Fla. —- In his last round of batting practice Thursday, the one-swing round, a frisky Jeff Francoeur jumped into the cage and said to hitting coach Terry Pendleton: “Oppo bomb.”
Then he delivered an opposite-field blast over the right-field fence at Champion Stadium, into the Braves’ bullpen, nearly taking out a surprised group of pitchers.
Francoeur smiled and said to manager Bobby Cox: “That’s strength, Skip.”
Cox replied: “I like it.”
Pendleton added in feigned disbelief: “Did I just see what I just saw?”
Now the Braves would like to see something as impressive in games.
Power. Opposite-field hits. Consistency. Offensive production far exceeding his 2008 performance.
Francoeur entered last season with a .280 career batting average and .463 slugging percentage, then proceeded to hit .239 with a .359 slugging percentage, 11 homers and 71 RBIs.
Francoeur changed things in the offseason, losing some bulk, getting in better baseball condition and altering his swing during a three-day tutorial with a hitting coach in Texas.
The basic differences: Less hand movement, and more “open” with the front shoulder, which Francoeur said allows him to see pitches better with both eyes.
This has been your weekly Jeff Francoeur story by Jeff Francoeur fans at AJC for Jeff Francoeur fans by Jeff Francoeur fans. Jeff Francoeur.
Posted: March 01, 2009 at 05:32 AM | 17 comment(s)
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