— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) February 22, 2016
As announced by the Atlanta Braves, Jeff Francoeur will be returning to his hometown team for 2016. Francoeur, now 32, is several years removed from displaying the All-Star caliber potential that tantalized scouts but had his best season since 2011 in 2015 with the Phillies when the right-handed slugger hit .258/.286/.433 with 13 HR in 343 PA, his most since 2012.
While the Phillies will likely find better production than that Francoeur provided for 2016, Francoeur, at times, was arguably the club’s best hitter and a very positive clubhouse influence. From July 17 to August 29, admittedly a very cherry-picked range, Frenchy hit .351/.370/.636 with four doubles and six homers. Francoeur will compete for outfield playing time in a group that is suddenly loaded with ex-Phils including Michael Bourn and Ender Inciarte and has a shot to make the team in a utility outfield role as he had with the Phils in 2015.