Rays Prospects

Takeaways From Tampa Bay Rays’ Winter Ball Results Part 1

By Robbie Knopf
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Aug 2, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Juan Francisco (47) during the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Astros defeated the Blue Jays 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Juan Francisco: Don’t prioritize him

It was a nice job by the Rays signing Francisco to a minor league deal even after he hit 16 homer runs for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014. His performance in the Dominican Winter League reminds us, though, that his great power is often negated by his other flaws.

Francisco hit to just a .217/.315/.420 line in 162 plate appearances, with his average and slugging percentage both being worse than his regular-season results even though he was facing worse competition. Although Francisco has power, his lack of pitch recognition, his inability to hit for average, and his poor defense all hold him back.

The Rays always need more power and it would be nice for them to have a guy like Francisco coming off their bench. However, they won’t go crazy trying to make room for him knowing that his shiny number of homers does not tell the full picture about his game. There is certainly no guarantee that Francisco will make the Rays’ roster out of spring training.